Home | Work With Your Own Hands | Mind Your Own Business | Walk Properly | Archives

Mind Your Own Business


What is a Busybody?

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

 A — 1: περιεργάζομαι 
(Strong's #4020 — Verb — periergazomai — per-ee-er-gad'-zom-ahee )

lit., "to be working round about, instead of at one's own business" (peri, "around," ergon, "work"), signifies to take more pains than enough about a thing, to waste one's labor, to be meddling with, or bustling about, other people's matters. This is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:11 , where, following the verb ergazomai, "to work," it forms a paronomasia. This may be produced in a free rendering: "some who are not busied in their own business, but are overbusied in that of others."

B — 1: περίεργος 
(Strong's #4021 — Adjective — periergos — per-ee'-er-gos )

akin to A, denoting "taken up with trifles," is used of magic arts in Acts 19:19 ; "busybodies" in 1 Timothy 5:13 , i.e., meddling in other persons' affairs.

C — 1: ἀλλοτριεπίσκοπος 
(Strong's #244 — Noun Masculine — allotrioepiskopos — al-lot-ree-ep-is'-kop-os )

from allotrios, "belonging to another person," and episkopos, "an overseer," translated "busybody" in the AV of 1 Peter 4:15 , "meddler," RV, was a legal term for a charge brought against Christians as being hostile to civilized society, their purpose being to make Gentiles conform to Christian standards. Some explain it as a pryer into others' affairs.



In The Body are you a busybody or a busy body? 

Why do busybodies intrude in other people's lives?
Pride - they believe they are all-wise and have all the answers.
  • They have made themselves the moral judge and they see themselves as the knowledgeable one, therefore it is their responsibility to straighten out everyone's lives (Rom 12:3). 
  • They may be idle. Even if they are diligent workers in their secular job and within their home, they may be idle in their spiritual lives. (1Ti 5:13; 1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:11-12).
  • They have a habit of looking at the faults of others instead of themselves. (Matt. 7:1-5)
  • They feel special that a friend or acquaintance confided in them so they now have a responsibility to hear everything they have to say and to give their advice, even though they are hearing only one side. (Phil. 2:3)
  • They feel they may get ahead in work if they listen and join in the gossip their boss is indulging in. (Phil. 2:3)
  • They believe family ties will be stronger if they join in with the gossip. (Phil. 2:3) 
  • They are afraid others (children, spouse) are going to make a mistake and no mistake is too small in their eyes.
  • They love control and that's all there is to it.
  • They enjoy hearing details about other's private lives (the more private the better) because they are like "tasty triffles".
  • They feel hurt if they are left out of private information, taking it personal.
Harm done by busybodies:
  • Saying things they shouldn't. (1 Tim. 5:13; Prov. 11:13) 
  • Satan will take advantage and destroy the home, the church, the workplace, the friendships. (2 Cor. 2:11) 
 How do busybodies suffer? But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. (1Pe 4:15)
  • Lose children's respect and will separate themselves whenever they can.
  • Lose friends because of either bad advice you gave them or their spouse/friend/child/co-worker was upset when they learned you now know their private business and gave bad advice without knowing the two sides. 
  • Lose family or friends because they have learned you can't keep your mouth shut and shared information that should have been kept private.
  • Lose respect because you helped divide the church due to hearing and sharing gossip. 



A Focus on Specific Instances of Busybodyness 

In Chronic Illness: Please don't be a busybody with people who have chronic illness. Some feel they have all the answers for those who are ill. Believe me,  the one who has been living with chronic illness is more experienced and knowledgeable. They have researched all they can and they know what they can do and what they can't. They know what helps and what doesn't. If you become a busybody in their lives, rather than a caring sister, you may be a cause for loneliness in them as they will not come to you for help.

In diet: Please don't be a busybody with other people's eating habits. Is the food more important than the friendship? If you are a meat-eater, coffee drinker, Twinky enjoyer don't make fun of those who don't share your taste. If you are a vegan, a vitamin/herb lover, an "organic" food eater, don't knock those who aren't and feel it's your duty to straighten them out. Good relationships are more important than food.

Parenting: Oh, if we could only control our kid's lives! If they would always listen to our wisdom in their marriage and raising their kids! Moms and mother-in-laws, we gotta let go and zip our mouth. Why? Believe it or not, we're not always right. It's not our business. Couples need to grow on their own. And, just like us, mistakes will be made at times, and other times, the right decisions will be made. If we close our mouths, our children will be more apt to come to us for advice, if they need it.

Our children's spouse should be their first priority – not us, the parents.  They should be faithful – first – to their spouse. If their spouse is influencing them to sin and turn against God, of course we need to help them remain strong in the Lord, but do so with wisdom and patience as the priority is to try and save both souls and their marriage.

And job hunting, I can't believe there are parents who actually get involved in their children's job hunting where they will go to the interview! I recently read this: "Phil Gardner, head of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute. He’d read enough media reports about parental over-involvement in post-university job hunting that he decided to do some research of his own, tossing questions into CERI’s annual survey about just how frequently companies saw their applicants’ moms and dads. Nearly a quarter of his sample, or 725 employers, “reported seeing parents ‘sometimes’ to ‘very often’ when hiring a college senior,” she writes. (And this was when the economy was still booming, in 2006 and 2007.) Among the things parents did: negotiate salaries; complain if their child wasn’t hired; arrange the interview; attend the interview itself. They have even showed up at their chilren's job interviews to be an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). How would you like to call 911 and have a youngster come out who needed (or didn't need) his mom at his/her job interview? Kinda takes the confidence out.  


While we are to work quietly and mind our own business, let's not confuse being a "busy-body" with true, genunine care for one another. These are two completely different characteristics of an individual. A busy body sticks his nose in where it doesn't belong, not for the sake of concern, but due to laziness and self-interest. A caring individual is concerned about his brother and sister's pain and wants to make herself available to help and strengthen the weak and fallen. 


Don't Mind Your Own Business!
by Amanda Wells 

We’re all aware of the fact that we’re at war against the ruler of this world and all his forces. But do we ever consider the possibility that no small number of our fellow soldiers have gangrenous shrapnel wounds festering under that shiny armor of God we like to polish and don every Sunday morning? I’ve never been in the US Army, but from what I hear, it seems like they grant a lot of honor to their wounded.  That’s not the case in our Holy Army, is it? Satan’s a genius - here we are, expecting our fellow soldiers to be functioning at full capacity, when they’re actually maimed and no one wants to really look around too closely!  Sure, no one wants to be labeled a sinner, but even more so…no one wants to be labeled a meddler! So we have the injured and maimed, with no hope of healing because they fear they’ll be ostracized if discovered. We have fellow soldiers fighting along-side the wounded completely unaware of their comrades’debilitated state, and we have no one daring to take a look around at the true state of their “unit” for fear of being labeled a busy-body!

None of the above is as God intended Christ’s body to work. The devil, who’s so adept at butchering scripture to fit his agenda, has stirred up all of this fear within the body, and as fear so often does, it spreads like wild fire.  I would argue, tackling just one of these notions ought to be enough to “stop the bleeding.”  Let’s look at the misguided idea that we ought to mind our own business. 

In 1 Thess 4:11, Paul wrote,  “…but we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.”   On its own, this makes minding our own business work fantastically, but let’s see what he says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12. “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.  For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.”  He’s explaining the context for the commands given in 1 Thess 4:11.  They’d had some lazy, disorderly, and gossipy brethren in their midst, who were not working to support themselves and thus shaming the body of Christ.  This passage is all about how we present Christ, ”that you may walk properly toward those who are outside.”  And not each other.

The greatest rebuttal to that misguided notion of minding our own business when it comes to our brethren is found in Romans 12:5, “so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” If I belong to you, my problems ARE your business.  Plain and simple.  And vice versa.  Not only because in my weakened state am I a liability to the health of the rest of the body, but because we are called to truly take an interest in each others’ lives in love and unity (Ephesians 4:1-3 Philippians 2:3-5).  What kind of care does Christ expect of us towards those outside the body when He illustrates for us the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)?  So how much more care do you think He expects of us towards one another in the household of faith?  There is simply no way “minding our own business” applies when it comes to those within the body. 

We can be “all that you can be,”  but only if we’re functioning in the way God purposed for His church. Sin-sickness isn’t just about your brother; suffering isn’t just about your sister, for these are meant to be casualties of war by our enemy.  The question is, will we let them fall by the wayside? ♦



Consider the story of good Samaritan. What if he had said the injured man was none of his business?



Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Php 2:3-4)


The trap of being a busybody. Satan causes busybodies to focus on what they can not change in order for them to ignore what they can change. He tempts us to believe we are better than others and that we have all the answers.


Being better than so and so is not the standard for eternal life. 



How I Learned to Mind My Own Business

I was walking past a fence the other day and I heard people on the other side keep shouting, "13, 13, 13"! The fence was too high to see over, so I peaked through a hole in the fence to see what was going on. Immediately I was poked in the eye with a stick and then they all started shouting, "14, 14, 14!"


A "Busybody" invented or introduced by Benjamin Franklin. It was a mirrored box that allowed 2nd floor homeowners to see the streets below. Laughing


June 2017