Saturday, October 31, 2015

Confessions of a Busybody

I had always thought being a busybody meant that you were a gossiper, talking about other people.  That understanding is also consistent with Scripture.

"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." II Thessalonians 3:11

"And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." I Timothy 5:13
busybodies: Greek word periergazomai meaning to bustle about uselessly, to busy one's self about trifling, needless, useless matters; used apparently of a person officiously inquisitive about other's affairs

busybodies: Greek word periergos meaning busy about trifles and neglectful of important matters; esp. busy about other folks' affairs
Gossiping about others was not my problem; in fact, I make it a point to stay out of such conversations. However, that is not the only meaning of the word. I recently came across a slightly different understanding where I have to admit I was a real offender.

I had a habit of always trying to figure things out. If someone came to me with a problem or if I just noticed an issue, I would automatically start thinking about how it could be fixed. I honestly just thought it was being helpful, but in reality such is not normal. The world might call it being analytical, a good thinker/contributor, or an effective manager, but your mind should not be constantly running. My husband has told me for years that I didn't know how to relax, and this was true.  A big part of that was trying to solve concerns which had nothing to do with me.

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." I Peter 4:15
busybody: Greek word allotriepiskopos meaning one who takes the supervision of affairs pertaining to others and in no wise to himself, a meddler in other men's affairs
Consider the above text. Being a "busybody" is put right up their with being a murderer, a thief, and an evildoer!  Isn't that a bit drastic Lord?  Not at all. When we start trying to manage areas which are not our responsibility, we disrupt the flow of God's Spirit in the Body of Christ...not to mention borrow a lot of trouble for ourselves.

"For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him." I Corinthians 12:14-18

This past summer, we experienced an issue with one of the ministry websites and I started talking to my husband about what should be done to address it. My husband looked at me and said, "Why are you worrying about this when it has nothing to do with you? It is none of your business."

Okay, so for about 5 seconds I was offended. After all, I was just trying to "help", right? Yet as I thought about it, I realized that he was right. The issue was truly none of my business. There are resources devoted to managing the websites, so why was I even taking up brain space trying to figure this out?

To further confirm my husband's words to me in this area, at work that next week, I asked a colleague for needed info.  Although my colleague reached out to the person responsible, that individual didn't want to provide it.  Emails went back and forth as he avoided answering the question. I started drafting an email to both of them outlining what was needed when the Lord stopped me. He reminded me of the conversation with my husband and said I was again being a busybody. While I did need the info, He reminded me that it was not my responsibility to get the info. I just needed to let my colleague do her job; and guess what? She did. Maybe not how I would have done it or even in the timeframe in which I would have liked, but she did it.

That gets to the crux of this issue.  At its foundation, this issue is about control. Get in a car with someone to see a great example of this. Do you find yourself asking the driver, "Why are you going this way? Why didn't you turn here? Why are you in this lane? Why are you going so slowly?" Or maybe you are too spiritually mature to say these things out loud, but you still think them in your heart. :-)   Either way, why are you worried about it? You are not driving, so why can't you just ride and relax? Why are you trying to control everything and everyone around you?

Just think about how many times a day you are wondering about or trying to figure out things which do not pertain to you at all? How much confusion are you inviting into your life spending brain cycles on things which are not your responsibility? While I am not picking on women, I think this is a particular challenge for women.

You see this in particular as it relates to a married woman's attitude towards her husband. Do you see your husband as someone you have to monitor, almost like one of your children? Do you seek to supervise his actions and decisions? Do you feel that he should run all decisions by you first to make sure they are the right ones? I am not talking about what you verbalize; I am speaking of the hidden intents of your heart.

"A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping." Proverbs 19:13

"A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." Proverbs 27:15

I know that I personally am so used to multi-tasking and trying to keep all of the balls in the air (household, job, ministry, family, children, etc.), that I would almost see everything as one more ball to balance.  My mind would look at everything as being something I had to solve or fix and would be in constant overdrive about these things instead of first asking the Lord, "Is this something you want even want me to think about or do?" This is a dangerous position to be in because it means you can be pulled out by the devil and ensnared. We must never seek to be led by our own understanding, but by the Spirit of the Lord in all things...even in the every day areas we encounter in life which might seem small.

I used to cry out to the Lord, often feeling overwhelmed, asking Him, "How am I supposed to do all that you have given me to do? How am I supposed to manage all of this? It is too much." You know what God showed me?  He has not given me too much. Rather, I have been stressing my own self out worrying about things which are none of my business.

Learning this was a newsflash and wake up call for me, so I share it with you in case it helps.
  • You don't have all the answers.  I never consciously thought I had all of the answers, but the mere fact that I was constantly approaching things as problems for me to solve reflect that mindset.
  • You are not expected to have all of the answers.  No one expects you to have all the answers, not even God.
  • Don't deceive yourself thinking you are being "helpful" in this way.  You are not being helpful by trying to micro-manage things around you.  It is really just a mask for trying to control things, making you get in the way of the work of others and out of your place. Women will often do this with their husbands, pretending that they are being a good "help meet" for the husband, when in actuality they are just trying to control him and get him to do their bidding.
These were not lessons that I learned overnight, but these were things God has been revealing to me over years...and I thank Him for it.

"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." I Peter 3:5-7

I used to wonder why God in parrticular was cautioning women about not being fearful or anxious. I think it is because we are called to trust in and follow the leadership of our husbands. The natural inclination of (fallen) man is to be the purveyor of his own destiny. Yet, in Christ, this is not so. We are to be in obedience to Him in all things, and for a wife this is also reflected as her obeying her husband husband in all things.

It is like God is saying, "Stop trying to figure it out. Stop trying to make sure things go your way. Stop trying to work the outcome according to your understanding. Stop trying to move people & things into the places you think they ought to be. Stop trying to control what happens around you. Stop trying to be the "neck" infuencing the head. Trust in the leadership and love of your husband."

Why is this important? Because the marriage relationship is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus Christ as His Bride. Every individual Christian must learn the lesson of trusting in the love and leadership of our Bridegroom, Jesus. The wife is to obey her husband so that God's people can see a living pattern and real example of how we all are to obey Christ.

I encourage you to take a real look at where you spend your time and effort each day. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to areas where you may carrying burdens which are not yours to carry. Seek for Him to give you guidance in any area where you may be a "busybody" and ask for the wisdom not to fall in this trap. You know what you find when you do? Peace for your souls.


  1. I am so guilty of this Mia! Especially in the part you mentioned when someone else drives. It is very difficult for me to relax in a car when someone else is driving! I too am guilty of trying to find a fix for other peoples problems as well. It is amazing any of us make it to heaven! Need more GRACE! Hope you are doing well Mia! Bless you!

    1. Sure do need more grace Sis! I am just so thankful that the Lord continues to reveal ourselves to us so that we can see these areas in ourselves, repent, and change. Nothing gives me more joy than to know the Lord is changing me to be more like Jesus; that His hand is on me still to complete the work He has begun. Thank you Jesus for nt leaving me as you found me! Left to ourselves, we would surely be without hope.

      I am well Sis and pray that you and the family are too. Much love to yyou all!

  2. Thank u Maisha, i need work in this area BIG TIME, i appreciate your wisdom its been helping me alot.

    1. Wisdom, or lessons learned from the strap? LOL

      Thank God for His instruction and correction. If there is hope for me then there is hope for everyone. :-) God Bless!

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I have been more cognizant about this here recently as I've never really noticed it before. For instance, just now I was about to respond to something that was not directed towards me and has absolutely nothing to do with me. A person posed a question towards someone specifically days ago and they never received their answer. I know the answer and I wanted to respond just now so badly (and I started to), but then I remembered these words. It was absolutely NONE OF MY BUSINESS! So I retracted my message altogether.

    These types of situations happen to me all the time, but I figure I'm doing the right thing by intervening when the requested parties aren't responding. I know this might not be the case in EVERY situation, but I sometimes feel compelled to act in this way even before the intended recipient has the opportunity to get involved. I've always thought of a busybody as a maliciously intent gossiper or someone that always inserted themselves in other folks' business, but I totally get what you are saying here!

    1. You are right that this is not the case in every situation. Yet, it is the very presence of the compulsion to act in such cases which we must address. What is compelling us in these situations? The only one who shuld compell us is the Lord.

      I was on a conference call this week where a colleague was complaining about how a particular team member was doing their job and they wanted me to do something about it. Previously, I would have taken that person's burden on to myself and tried to intervene with the colleague to "help".

      Instead, I said on the call, "I am learning in my professional and personal life not to jump into things that are none of my business. I can support your concern, but this person does not report to me. I would suggest that you speak to this person directly or their manager."

      Let me tell you that there was complete silence on the call after that. LOL No one said anything. Plus, I was probably looked upon as not being very helpful or not being a good team player after that. But you know what? I left that call in peace.

      The ways of the world are not God's ways. Just becaue the world says we should be a certain way in order to be successful does not mean such is true. In God's economy, His burdens are light. When we feel overwhelmed, it is because we are taking on burdens which are meant for us.

      I don't really post secular things, but click here to look at a picture. It conveys in the natural a lot of what is being discussed here. Satan will try to convince women that they are "superwomen" and must do everything on their own, but that is because he hates women and are trying to run us into the ground. Being a handmaiden of the Lord means we can live and grow in peace without being anxious about anything.

      I want to be directed by Jesus in every aspect of my life. For me, I am choosing God's ways...and I know you will too. :-)

    2. Oh, and one more thing about that picture. While I think it is a depiction of this discussion from a worldly perspective, it is no man's job to convince a woman to be what she was designed to be. Each woman must decide for herself whether she will follow the ways of the Lord or whether she chooses a destiny of perceived independence. That has nothing to do with the man she is with, but the God she serves.

  4. I'd also like to add how important it is to ALWAYS be spiritually aware of our environment. For instance, at my job you are applauded for taking initiative and being a problem solver. Which are good things in and of themselves, but this can also foster a culture of trying to be the one that figures it out first, EVEN IF ITS NOT YOUR ISSUE. You can walk through the office and over hear and conversation and make the issue your business. You get the kudos and pats on the back for getting to the bottom of it. When that is the prevailing environment and culture, it is so easy to fall in to that mindset as you think it will be recognized by your superiors and rewarded in some way for it. If you embrace and participate in this it WILL bleed over to every other aspect of your life. Again, thank you for exposing this!

    It actually took me a few days to recognize this in me, but that mirror has been REFLECTING!

    1. See! I wasn't exegerating when I said this is something the Lord has been working on me with for years. LOL

      You have described so much better what I was trying to get across. The world pushes you to be a "go-getter", always on the go, always inserting yourself into situations and circumstances to give your opinion, always providing input and trying to have the answer...

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being helpful, but as you said, we must always be spiritually aware. Of all the times when we have jumped in to "help", how many times has it been because that is what the Lord told us to do and how many times has it just been what we decided to do? That is a HUGE difference.

  5. Hi Mia, Thanks for sharing !! We all need more wisdom in this area.

    I had almost the same question lately " How am I supposed to manage all of this? It is too much." about my prayer list. People talk about their problems, I always feel like I should add it to my list (sounds good). Later I realized I do not have time to pray for all and felt guilty...
    Actually we take burdens we should not, then we complain ...
    May God give us discernment. It is not always our business!

    Blessings to you and your family


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