Mind Your Own Business


“Moooom! He’s spitting!”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any patience for tattling. If someone is in imminent danger of physical harm, I want to know about it, but otherwise, deal with it or drop it.

I’ve tried to empower my kids to let someone else know when they’re breaking a rule or doing something they shouldn’t; they don’t need me to intervene for every random thing. At least, that’s my theory.

I thought I’d outgrown tattling a long time ago. “Deal with it or drop it.” But how often do I sit in church and think, “So-and-so really needs to hear this,” or fill my prayers with, “Lord did you see…?” Or maybe it’s on the jealousy side of things, “Why did she get the book deal/ministry position/speaking opportunity…?”

I wonder if God gets tired of hearing me whine about my perceptions of someone else’s slights and wants to respond, “I know. I see. Leave her to me. But how about you concentrate on what I’ve asked you to do?”

It does make me feel better to know that I’m not the only one who asks questions like that. Jesus was telling Peter what the future held for him. Peter turned and caught a glimpse of John (who was probably referred to as “teacher’s pet” among the other disciples).

When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:21-22

Jesus didn’t use the words, “Mind your own business,” but that’s really what he meant. In essence, “Peter, I have a plan for you. A BIG plan. You keep to what I have put in front of you.”

Mothering, ministry, writing, career…I think when we get distracted by what is happening with someone else, we make it more difficult to see God wants to do in and through us.

As we set our priorities for the coming year, this a good reminder:

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

8 Responses to Mind Your Own Business
  1. Kimberly
    January 19, 2011 | 9:55 am

    Thank you for this devotion! I cannot tell you how much we have been working on the “mind your own business” stuff over at my house. 🙂 Three little gals all up in one another’s business.

    But honestly, I had not thought about it much pertaining to myself. How often do I look at the lives and ministries of others and question God, though. Yikes. More than I would like to admit.

    Great word! Thanks for this reminder.

  2. Kathi Lake
    January 20, 2011 | 12:02 pm

    Mary, thanks so much for this. It’s so easy to pull a girlfriend aside and have a “did you hear . . .” session. I guess its up to us to break the cycle. Sure, that means that we’ll have to actually stop focusing on others and start turning inwards – a place where some of us don’t like to go – but thats the only place where He can speak with us.

  3. Larri at Seams Inspired
    January 20, 2011 | 12:02 pm

    Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.

    I felt so convicted by this verse yesterday, that I made some Word Art as a reminder…and posted it on my blog. You know what’s really interesting? Some of my favorite followers who never comment when I post anything faith-based, actually commented yesterday!

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I LOVE THIS post! 🙂

  4. Jacqueline
    January 20, 2011 | 12:51 pm

    Thank you for this. I needed to read this and be reminded to stop Whining. I need to be thankful and focus on the race that is set before ME and run it well.

  5. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    January 20, 2011 | 4:40 pm

    That’s a great reminder… so often it seems Christians can get caught up worrying about what other people are doing and judging each other.

  6. Sarah
    January 20, 2011 | 7:15 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! It has helped me immensely to try and look for the good and inspiring things about others INSTEAD of judgment.

  7. Stephanie
    January 20, 2011 | 10:55 pm

    Thank you for that important reminder, Mary! It’s easy to get distracted by the accomplishments and failures of others instead of staying focused on what God has called US to do.

    I wrote a post with a similar premise last March: http://metropolitanmama.net/2010/03/the-success-of-other-people-does-not-equal-your-failure/.

  8. Tonya
    January 20, 2011 | 11:08 pm

    Thanks for this reminder. Focusing on ourselves is so hard!