We have all heard it, and many of us have said it. Mind your own business. I am the oldest of four children, and the next in line is my brother, Justin. It was often tempting to question my parents. Why does Justin get to do this? When are you going to make Justin do that? I would inevitably hear my mother say, “Mind your own business.”
That was sound advice. I did need to mind my own business. With my attention on my brother, I was less focused on myself. I was less attentive to my own tasks at hand, and I was more likely to fail.
Mind your own business is still applicable for me today. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have specific roles in the Kingdom of God. I am commanded to lead my wife as Christ loved the church. I am also directed to intentionally raise my children to follow Christ. I am responsible for living my life in a manner which accurately reflects the truth about Jesus Christ. I am to love Christ and make Him known.
In my efforts to serve God, I have been tempted to mind the business of others. Sometimes I am tempted to be critical of the methods of another church. Other times I allow myself to be too easily offended by someone who is different than me. None of this is productive for the Kingdom of God. Unnecessary division is not productive, and I am less productive in my own work when I am overly focused on trying to fix everybody else.
There are also times when I have assumed roles and responsibilities that only belong to God. Rather than minding my own business, I sometimes try to mind God’s business too. I used to think it was my job to convince everybody that Jesus Christ is Lord. I was often frustrated when someone would refuse Christ, and I saddled myself with guilt that I failed. Reading Ezekiel taught me I was trying to do a job that only God can do. God commanded Ezekiel to eat the scroll (Ezek. 3:3) and proclaim the truth (Ezek. 3:4), but God said it was His job to give them a new heart (Ezek. 10:19). My business is to feast on God’s Word and proclaim His truth. God’s business is to give someone a new heart. I can’t do God’s work. I am not God.
So please be encouraged when I tell you to mind your own business.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 – And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you.