Neighborly care or bustling busybody
The neighbor across the way seemed (to us) to be a busybody. When Dave put up handrails for an elderly customer (Jan) who had fallen and injured her shoulder, her neighbor insisted that she too needed handrails. This was a pattern: whenever someone else got something new, this woman had to get the same, or maybe bigger or better.
We still smile about the competition from the one neighbor to the other. Jan was so busy caring for her neighbors and checking up on people that she didn’t have time to watch what others were doing. She was involved in her church as well as her community. Constantly offering to help others, she has a host of friends who will do anything for her.
Oh, but not her neighbor, who had long since retired and sat at home, afraid to miss any happening in the neighborhood. This woman kept busy keeping up with what anybody else was doing. Soon she developed a critical spirit – even though she had things many others could not afford.
Even people who are “busy” can be idle in their mind. When we let our minds wander, we can become busy with comparing or stewing about others’ lives. Sometimes we become “busy” so we don’t have to think about our own lives – we turn to thinking about others instead of our own relationship with God. We critique others and share private information – and that’s the definition of a busybody.
If you want to be free of idleness, gossip. slander, and being a busybody, here is something you can do: Become a Kingdom worker.
mining for Treasures
There are things we can do to shut down the busybody genetics we carry. Instead of digging for dirt on others, we must search for the treasures God has given us. Here are three ways we can do this.
- Learn to truly know Him. This requires that we spend time in His Word. We do not merely need to know about Him or about the Bible, we need to learn to truly know Him by ingesting the Word. How much time do we spend learning to know and understand Jesus?
- Ask God for wisdom for each day. How can we follow His plan unless we ask Him what that plan is? How does He want me to spend my time? Who does He want me to encourage this day? How can I invest in others today?
- Invest in others. Do it freely. Helping others grow is one of the greatest expenditures we can make. We are called to build each other up. How much time each day do we spend building others up? This requires an investment of time, emotion, and spiritual insight. As followers of Christ, we have been given so much. Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give.” How freely do we truly give?
This is Kingdom work. When we are busy in Kingdom work, we will not have time to be a busybody.