Sunday, January 27, 2019

Mind Your Own Business

The Lord once gave me a vision of a minister I know who was covered in black clothing like a ninja. I shared this with a friend who also knows this minister. We agreed the meaning of this vision was this man being covered in deception because of not being accountable to others. 

However, being accountable doesn’t mean we must allow everyone to speak into our lives anytime they please. Yesterday I went out for breakfast with a group of men following a Bible study. One of them started offering suggestions I didn’t ask for. First, he urged me to find a helpmate and wanted to take me to his church because of the many single women there. He also kept asking how I support myself and talked about other ministries fundraising. Yet one of my rules as a minister is to avoid asking people for money.

Years ago a former co-worker of mine had a habit of sending me messages laced with unsolicited advice. In one email, he quoted 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat”) suggesting I’m in sin for not holding down a regular 40 hour/week job instead of traveling doing the Lord’s work. I replied by suggesting he read the very next verse. The Apostle Paul also comes against busybodies or as the New Living Translation says, “meddling in other people’s business.” One definition of meddle is “touch or handle something without permission.”

There is a difference between rebuking someone living in sin and simply giving someone our opinion. We should always be open to godly correction. Proverbs 19:20 says, Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. But some people need to learn not to continuously overstep another person’s boundaries (especially on Facebook). It’s just plain rude!

When I’m out evangelizing, some sinners don’t want to hear the gospel. Even though God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), I have to back off when someone doesn’t want to get saved. God will not override another person’s will. One type of advice I particularly find annoying is when religious folk tell me how I should evangelize (such as never going out alone) but they won’t obey the Great Commission themselves!

Getting back to my former co-worker, I explained to him that what may not be the right way for him may be the right way for me. Finally, I had to stop communicating with this man because he repeatedly tried to get in the last word. Even Jesus sometimes walked away from the Pharisees when they continually harassed Him. 

It’s often been said opinions are like armpits…everyone has them and some of them stink. Christians would be wise to stop and pray first before telling anybody what he or she should do. Even a minister can unwittingly be used as a tool of Satan by misleading another believer down a destructive path. In 1 Kings 13, there’s an account of a prophet who gave direction supposedly from an angel that led another prophet to disobey the Lord and later got killed by a lion.

We are ultimately responsible for carrying out God’s plan for our lives, not someone else’s.

“If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs.” - 1 Peter 4:15 (NLT)

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