Take a moment to read this passage from the New Testament…
1 Peter 4:15-16 ‘If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.’
We could well find ourselves asking the question…’what is a meddler?’
Is there such a thing in the 21st Century?
Why is it in the same category as murderers, thieves and criminals?
Whatever it is, it must be bad.
Here we go…
A meddler is a busy body- someone that interferes with, or concerns themselves with something that is none of their business.
It’s basically a word that sends out a loud and clear message: mind your own business.
I have to admit, I don’t think that I’ve heard anyone ever talk about this in such a serious way, so why would the Bible make it out to be such an offensive thing and list it amongst criminal activity?
Is it not because you have your own life to live and take responsibility for, and therefore to use up your energy trying to poke your nose into everyone else’s business is like playing God with other people’s lives?
God is wanting to send us a clear message that what other people do with their lives should never take away your focus from what you’ve been called to do.
A modern day classic illustration would be found in the realm of social media.
Right now we are able to view people’s pictures, where they are, what they are doing and who they are doing it with. We can see what they’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner and who they are eating it with. We become party to their party and to top it all, we’re even invited to comment.
Self-esteem nowadays is subject to how many ‘likes’ we get on our statuses, and if it’s less than 10, our whole world crumbles around us.
People’s lives have never been made so accessible to so many.
We can spend hours everyday trawling social media to find out the latest gossip and info on anyone’s life that we so wish. We can’t go to sleep at night without mentally rearranging everyone’s lives first.
Is it any wonder that meddling is such a modern day curse?
We are using up so much of our energy to internally fight over why they shouldn’t have said that to that person and why Paul shouldn’t be dating Lucy, and why that selfie is so unflattering.
Just think of how free you could become to use your energy and focus doing good with your own life, if you’d simply mind your own business.
Murderers, thieves and criminals have one thing in common in that they are all facing a prison sentence.
Sadly, being a meddler is just the same; you are chaining yourself as you meddle with so many people’s lives that you are no longer free to sort yourself out.
When was the last time that you consciously stopped trying to live everyone else’s life for them and took care of your own?
The only time we should engage in other people’s lives in this way should be for the common good – to lift them, to care for them, to support them and to pray for them.
Meddling is a meaningless and energy-sapping mental distraction. Stop playing God and be content to practise leadership on your own life.
Make a conscious effort today to pull away from meddling, and use all that freed up time to make your own life count for the good of others.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.