Think On These Things "Minding Our Own Business"

Here's a great piece of advice. It comes from the Bible, from Paul.
Here it is: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Don't fret. It's not impolite. It's not mean spirited. In fact, if you want a way to goof-proof your life, to keep from messin' up or bein' messed up, this is a blessed word. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! And what is my business, you might ask? According to Paul, here's the list. Behold your business plan. Whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely. How about that! How 'you doin'?

Now, some things that seem so disarmingly simple are disturbingly difficult. At the top of the heap, or near it anyway, keeping our mind where it belongs. Sometimes we stray for love's sake. Picture mom and daughter. Daughter's grown. She comes to call at home. Mom, shall we say, gives her the once-over. 'Not that pleased. So mom just sort of waves her hand in the direction of the outfit and asks, "Is that new?" Dag! Look out! A father goes to his son's. There's some new project to be seen. A paint job. Some new feature on the car or truck. A little building project. Pop gives the once-over, seizes on some detail or other and then just says, "You gonna leave this like this?" It kind of makes you wanna look up the definition of justifiable homicide! But these are the really innocent examples. The little ones. It's frequently not love that drives us into business not our own. Other and more sinister forces by far, place our minds… and hearts where they don't belong. PRIDE. Self value that looks at others to put them down and leave you one up! ENVY. Self value that looks at others to lift them up and leave you one down! ANGER. The opposite of kindness. (Think about that.) SLOTH. Refusal to claim your business as your own. It's zeal-for-God pulled inside out, like a sock in need of laundering. GREED. We refuse to afford others credit or praise; we want our fair share… and more. Greed is envy squared! GLUTTONY. Our refusal to accept limits! Everything's our business! LUST. Sex, power or our image: out of control. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, indeed! 'Not easy. So how do we goof-proof our lives? How do we live by faith and not falter on earth in the things of heaven? Jesus and his great grandpa David can help.
Minding your own business begins with letting God do God's! It's what Paul means when he tells us to keep our minds on what is honorable. Up front, our calling consists in honoring God. It means we can't try to take God's place. We gotta know our own place! Its' true from kings to kitchen helpers and more.

Consider King David. We know about his sin with Bathsheba. Talk about mindin' other folks business, dear old David's ready to mean business of a different sort with somebody else's wife! 'Looks like #7 of the Seven Deadly Sins (we lifted a moment ago). Ahh, lust. But let's look deeper. And more inwardly. The story starts off with a king who can't sleep. Granted, 'coulda been the heat or the humidity. They can keep us up. But so does so much more. For David, for us. Don't you think it likely the kingdom kept the king awake at night?! A war on. No mid-term elections then, but what passed for a cabinet to manage. Grains to get in and get stored. Taxes to tax. (Some things never change.) Urban renewal for Jerusalem and Jericho. On and on. And all on the king's shoulders. And on his mind. No wonder he couldn't sleep. (What keeps you up? Really?)

Here's a staggering truth. A sleepless night begins a train of trials and tragedy. A broken marriage. A murder. A judgment on David all his life. A child born ill-unto-death. The line of succession to the throne forever altered. On and on. You get the idea. All from a walk on the roof on a sleepless night. I tell you the truth. It isn't 'cause David doesn't own one of those Sleep Number Beds he's awake! First, it's because he lets life overwhelm him. Like us, he forgets what he learned as a child. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." David himself gives us those words while a boy, we believe. But he sets them aside as he ages in favor of the notion that somehow, it's all up to him! How many of us do likewise! Maybe this is the original sin! Second, he forgets that sleep, deep refreshment, is always the first order of the day, from the first day of creation onward. Genesis is right, note the order, "There was evening and there was morning, one day." David does as we do. He wakes up backwards, not understanding the day begins with the night, not the dawn. Sleep is the first ordinance (if not the first commandment) of God. It matters. How many of your headaches and heartaches proceed from simply being too tired to think straight. To fail to take our rest, in Paul's terms, is to fail to think on the first thing that honors God. Taking rest. Taking off. Leaving God in charge. Trusting in him. We complain of too-hectic lives. But in the main, we choose them. And we choose to enter them unrested because we choose worry, TV, the web, the midnight snack and the workload of tomorrow over the privilege and duty to "rest in the Lord" tonight. By extension, we can say for our weekends what we do for our evenings, often because we do not have our priorities straight. Ain't no rest for the weary. I know this sin. I am convicted with you. So I know what I'm sellin' when I say this. Wanna goof-proof your life? Sin-insulate your soul? "Rest in the Lord" nightly. Trust. Renew. Do the same weekly with a day of refreshment. (Sabbath, don't you know!) Literally, here is the first honorable thing to keep in mind, to serve God in Jesus Christ.

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! And you and I have no business thinking on that which is not pure. Paul, earlier in this letter urges, "Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Of the seven deadly sins, this ONE is my biggest failing:
Lust 35%
Anger 18%
Pride 12%
Sloth 10%
Envy 10%
Gluttony 9%
Greed 6%
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant… humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." Behold: our business! To think like, to be like, to live like Jesus. Clearly, David hasn't his great, greats grandson in mind when he looks across the rooflines and his eye settles on Bathsheba. Soap opera, not salvation consumes him. He's not alone in our time. An online poll recently displayed the following results: (Read beside) Now don't be alarmed, just in case envy, gluttony or greed are more to your habits, it's not that you're so out of step with the times, it's just that your sins are simply, sadly underappreciated. Because they're so common, they're just under reported! It could not be clearer that those of us who call on the name of the Lord fail significantly in minding our own business. How can we goof-proof ourselves from such mindless/Christlessness? How can we sin-insulate ourselves? Well, let me tell you a little more of David.

God gave David a gift. One you and I can pray for, a business partner, so to speak. God sent Nathan to David. The Lord provided David with one true friend who would tell him what he could see in the King's soul. It literally saved David, eventually saved Israel, we could say. And it provided a process to set the King's soul right again with God. Today, I bid you do three things. Pray for a Nathan in your life. A real, live, faith-filled friend who will tell you what she or he really sees in your soul! Fortify your prayers by inviting someone to do and be that. And thank them, every time they set you straight! Second, resolve to be that person for somebody else. Someone you know deeply, and love more deeply still. Third, let Christ be the guide to the two of you, by coming to know Christ as profoundly as you can. It will take time! Study! Prayer! And not a little risk…of becoming a new person.

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Honorable. Pure. Loving. Aw, not that loving thing again! How come it always comes down to that in church?! Because it does. Think about this. Who's up there on that roof with David when he decides on an act of unloving self-indulgence? Answer: nobody! David's alone. Isolated. Leaders so often are. That's why so many go astray. We surround them with way too little prayer, and even less honest company that loves them with hard truths and constant, gracious mercies. They're like, well, us! God in Christ would have no one suffer like the Lord's greats grandpa. So the Lord provides a community of the faithful to teach and tackle love. To this day, there's a name for these folks. They're called, The Church! Lovely, loving, is our business! And all in the mind and spirit of Jesus! The relief here is being in the company of folks tryin' to act and be like Jesus. The challenge: not speaking in unlovely ways of one another. (It drives others to sin when we fail!) The challenge: not getting for ourselves but giving/living for others… like Jesus. The blessing: goof proofing, sin-insulating ourselves from all that would draw our minds away from the mind of Christ and toward business that is not our own. Always we are better as servants in the serving-community-of-Christ than even as royalty-on-the-roof-alone, with sorrow and sin in plain view!

So here's the word of the Lord today: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!
Rest… in the Lord. Get yourself a Nathan. Be one. And never walk the roof tops or the streets alone. Bind yourself to Christ and his church. Honorable. Pure. Lovely. Wow!

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