Mind Your Own Business
Like our parents, I have to blame a lot of our social problems on technology. Yes, I am siding with the parentals on this one. We are kind of lost on what is socially acceptable to say and do because we have constant access to each other’s lives. If someone announces their significant other after being released from the Friendzone, we feel the need to examine compatibility and if this relationship will result in a fruitful union, while secretly anticipating more updates on their relationship. If the person did not share this area of their life on social media, then we would simply assume that they are still single. We have an unspoken rule; “They didn’t post it, so it doesn’t exist.” If they didn’t post things like this, then how would we know about their life? Maybe, possibly, actually by building a friendship with them that dares to go beyond social media and into the real world? Maybe we feel the need to know because we have a slight case of ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO). We want to be informed and updated on the lives of others, especially when it doesn’t seem to pertain to us.
When we share our lives with the world, even the most intimate moments, we are inviting unsolicited opinions from our followers and outsiders. I typically don’t post my pictures or just post them later, after I have contemplated the cost of posting them. It’s my way of protecting my mental health and space with personal boundaries.
At this point, I think I’ve heard it all. From people giving unnecessary feedback on one’s outfit to people expressing themselves when it comes to people’s life decisions, to commentary about people's celebrations and all the way to people frowning upon other’s craft.
My dear, hold your lips.
“and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11 NIV
Bolded and italicized to stress my emphasis in case it went over your head.
“So I can’t have my own opinion?”
Although we are entitled to our own opinions and thoughts, not all thoughts need to be shared. Yes, I said it. Especially when the opinion is based off not knowing the person well enough to speak about them. The opinion is therefore rooted in discontent, misinformation and/or you are not speaking life over the person. Because you are speaking from a lack of knowledge, your opinion isn’t really an opinion, but the statement is cultivated from assumptions and speculations of an individual.
There is one thing to be vocal about evil and the works of the devil in the lives of others. That is the perfect time to speak up and say something either directly to them or in the right biblical context (Matthew 18:15-17). Because your silence can be equivalent to your approval and your consent to their actions and behavior. At times, when a community does not intercede on a fellow brethren deviating, the individual isn’t aware that their current action is detrimental to their walk, because the community placed there to sharpen them, has failed to step up and step in. We, instead, opted to be passive and just share a person’s downward spiral with our inner circle and judge through our viewpoints on the matters amongst ourselves.
***Times when you should NOT mind your business***
*When a house is on fire
*If you are having a vivid dream from the Holy Spirit of a fellow brethren in danger (this may need you to ask the Holy Spirit on how to proceed next. Let’s not be led by our flesh)
*When someone is acting out of character
*When someone is blatantly sinning on social media
*When someone reaches out to you for guidance
*When someone experiences a traumatic life incident
If you are going to be so vocal about it, then maybe your actions should match your works? Are you able to reach out to the person and see what’s going on? Do you have the full picture of the story? Or were you shown one side of the bigger picture? Could you have misinterpret what you saw?
Let’s look at examples from the word, so this blog post is not opinion based, but biblical.
“Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked. When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, 'Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.’”
Genesis 9: 20-24
This is why I don’t advise people drinking. You make a fool of yourself. Anywho, Ham saw his father naked after he got drunk and fell asleep. You would think that he would just either 1. cover his father up or 2. mind his business and not share what he just witnesses with other. But he didn’t do either. It’s a shame, Noah was naked in his own room. It be your own people.
For some people, minding their business is not easy. I understand, in this day and age, we are literally empowered to be involved in the lives of others. So I have some tips to help you out!
Here are three ways to M.Y.O.B.
1. Ask yourself why you care
There has to be a reason why you are involving yourself in the life of another. Is the Lord prompting you to be involved? I mean, we are each other’s keepers. Is He highlighting this for you to speak up, intercede, reach out, etc? Or are you just judging the person without getting to know the facts and are not really interested in helping them in there walk? Once you answer this question, you will be able to know if you should or shouldn’t mind your business.
2. Get to know the person
We probably wouldn’t admit this, but we all have some bias. We have our circle of people that we are comfortable with and have accepted them for who they are. Yet, we fail to extend that same grace to those outside our circle. We subconsciously have negative notations against those we don’t know. And no, it not discernment. It’s just suspicion. Get to know the person and see what influences them to do what they do. By doing that, you are able to relate to them and understand who they are in actuality.
3. Extend grace
Like most Millennials and young adults alike, I get my news from Twitter and IG. They keep it short and funky. I recently watched the press conference that James Shaw Jr, the hero of the waffle house shooting, recently did after the incident. I love reading comments, I get to see how other people perceive the same event. One lady felt the need to comment on how frequently he said “um” after every few words. Apparently, there is a repercussion for sharing unpopular opinions, but people literally came to Shaw’s defense. I mean he just experienced a traumatic incident, where 4 people were slain and he was so close to death. Imagine having to get in front of people to relive the horrors of what could have been your death, without having time to heal. I understand why people corrected her. She needed to extend grace. As well as us. We need to learn how to extend grace to others. What is that? It is the act of not holding others to a standard you subconsciously set that they can not live up to on their own strength.
All in all, this post is to help you start thinking before you get into the affairs of others. Sometimes, we are just being the body and trying to be accountable for the lives of others that may be straying away. But most times, we are just looking on others from a high horse. I wish we would remove the log from our eyes, maybe we would have a better view of the person. So next time you want to talk about someone’s life, without gaining understanding or extending grace, feel free to pick up the phone and call this troll free number.