“And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Have you ever stuck your nose into someone else’s business? It can be so easy to look at other people and see their flaws (and by that I mean what you think their flaws are), or the way you would live their life if you were them. The reality often is that we have no idea what others are actually dealing with, or what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives. We have a limited understanding of what they are going through, yet we know exactly what they “should” do and how they “should” respond.
Do you ever look for other people’s flaws so you can feel better about yourself? Do you ever look for struggles in the lives of others so you can “stir the pot?” You know the scenario, it will give you something to talk about with your friends: “Have you heard,” “did you see,” and “can you believe?” Before you know it there is a whole group of people dogging on someone over something that may be a complete misunderstanding or even completely false. It can get pretty messed up and cause a lot of hurts. It is shameful to think we might actually be guilty of any of this. However, it happens, does it not?
I think of Luke 6:41-42, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye, You hypocrite, first take the out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” When Paul tells the believers in 1 Thessalonians to “mind your own affairs,” I believe he is pointing out a whole lot of self-righteous speck-seekers that were overlooking their own problems. That nonsense could have been avoided if they would first check themselves and their motives.
There is a real opportunity as we follow Christ’s example to love, encourage, and help people through whatever hurt they may be facing. As believers in the finished work of Christ, we are children of God; we are family. We should be loving, encouraging, and helping one another. Our reaching out should be with pure motives founded in truth and love.