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Busybodies or Busy Bodies?

by David Shannon

David Shannon

Still attached to an upper story of a house on Elfreths' Alley in Philadelphia is a busybody. That's right a mechanical busybody made by Benjamin Franklin. Mirrors make up this busybody which reflect to the real busybody what is happening in the alley without them having to put their head out of the window. Isn't it sad that every society has had busybodies? God has always urged busybodies to become busy bodies.
Leviticus 19:16-18 instructs Israel not to be a talebearer, hater of brethren, vengeful, or bear grudges. These thoughts are concluded with the words, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord." Busybodies need to become busy bodies of love. Whether it is a friend, stranger or enemy, why would a Christian hurt them with sinful busybody ways? We ought to be busy bodies serving them through love.

How does one become a busybody? Perhaps there are several ways. A few things associated with busybodies are mentioned in 1 Timothy 5:3-15. Those who live in sensual pleasure (vr 11). Those who do not keep the vows they make (vr 12). They learn to be idle. They wander about from house to house. They gossip and are busybodies (vr 13).

Once someone has started the habitual life of being a busybody, is there any hope for them? 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 instructs the church to take action by marking the disorderly busybody. It isn't right to not work, beg from others for daily provision, and use idle moments to talk. The church must stand against this. The church must command them to work, be quiet and provide their own bread. To reinforce this teaching he adds not to grow weary in doing good. In other words, God wants us to be busy bodies working to provide, not busybodies in wandering about gossiping and begging!
C.S. Lewis wrote about busybodies who constantly picked at others to live a moral life. "Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." Do you love juicy gossip? If a couple were experiencing a divorce because of fornication, would you regret that you hadn't heard which was unfaithful and with whom? Would you ask others and seek details? Why? Would you go to them, pray with them, and encourage them to work through it? Why do you want to know? Either to be a busybody or a busy body. Those who want to know so they can gossip and use the information as a weapon of knowledge, torment people, instead of love them.

One of the greatest Athenian generals was Alcibiade. He set sail to war against the city of Syracuse. A busybody made false accusations against him. He was accused of breaking body parts from the statue of the god Hermes. He was commanded to return home and another general was sent in his place. The other general was incompetent causing Athens to lose the war. This wasn't the first or last battle lost due to busybodies.

Spiritual battles are always lost by busybodies. When God lists seven things He hates in Proverbs 6, several of them describe busy bodies: Pride, lying, wicked hearts with wicked plans, feet that are swift to do wrong, and one who sows discord among brethren. On the other hand, when God gives the great commission to spread the Gospel to the whole world, the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor, the commands to take care of orphans, widows, the poor, visit the sick and those in jail, study, pray, meditate, instruct our children, work, pay taxes, give, worship, and on and on are commands that require our time every day! If we are busy serving our Lord, we simply won't make the time to be busybodies. Lay down the phone, stop the e-mails, get out of the coffee houses, narrow down the hobbies and do more kingdom work!


July 8, 2007

Mt. Juliet Church of Christ
1940 N. Mt. Juliet Road
P.O.Box 248
Mt.Juliet, TN 37122-0248
(615)758-2274
Fax:615-754-2351
Email

Worship Services:
Sunday Early Worship: 8AM
Sunday Bible Study: 9:15AM
Sunday Late Worship: 10:15AM
Night Worship: 6PM
Wednesday Bible Study: 7PM