Something has been on my mind and I’ve got to get it out. I’m not venting, per se; but I am releasing a little pressure (which is actually venting) and sharing just a bit of it.
First off, I am tie-yerd! This pandemic is on my nerves and exacerbating everything else that get on my nerves too. I’m sure many of you reading this have felt the same way over the last nine months—and maybe even share this feeling with me right now.
This other thing that has been bothering me is that people—allegedly Christians—don’t know how to mind their own business. The presiding and prevailing culture is pretty much fueled by other people’s business, but that’s not the part that bothers me. It’s when Christians and church folk (they’re not always the same lol) engage in not minding their own business.
I’m not talking about the dialogue we all engage in with our inner circle or group chat about the outside affairs. Discussing what’s going on, for the sake of making so sense of it and establishing or affirming our own values isn’t the problem. Aside from the fact that talking about other people’s business just to be talking about it is called GOSSIP, it serves absolutely no upward and forward moving purpose.
Oh… I forgot. Yeah it does… It makes us feel better about ourselves. Every minute I spend talking about the business in your house is a minute I’m not handling the issues in mine.
Yet, one of the things that gets me even more than just Christians talking about other people’s business is when Christians mind the business of other Christians. Oh, I’m going there on today! We spend soooooo much energy talking about how Pastor so-n-so got a jet, who Pastor Him-n’em been texting, who all the pastors sleeping with, how that one pastor was theologically incorrect in the 60 seconds of their sermon that we saw (and didn’t have context for), what this and that other pastor do with their money.
In so many other instances, maybe it’s not a pastor, but a whole church. This church do this, and that other church does that. That one church must be a cult. The people who sit up under that man/woman over there are stupid… I could go on and on and on (like some of us do).
We got something to say about every church and pastor except our own. The church we haven’t tuned in to watch online since April. The pastor who could barely get us to participate before the pandemic and we definitely not reading their emails or tryna hear from them now. What is continuous conversation about what is happening in someone else’s faith community going to do to benefit the community you are supposed to be connected to? And this—assuming that we even identify ourselves with a church or have consciously or publicly submitted ourselves to anyone’s spiritual leadership.
Please note: I’m not referring to those who don’t have a church home in spite of their trying and searching, or due to circumstances for which they are not responsible.
Ask people who know me. I’ll trip over myself trying to avoid talking negatively about other churches and their pastors. I don’t know what all they’ve got going on. The same is true of your financial situation, or your housing situation, that situation with your car, or that whole situation of a relationship you’re entangled in. I don’t know enough details to make a third party assessment based on second hand information about your personal matters. Sure, you might be broke; but if the Holy Spirit prompts me to give you 10 or 20 dollars, what difference does it make how you got broke?
It ain’t my business.
At this point, I’ve definitely vented a little bit… maybe even peaked over the wall at a rant. But it wouldn’t be a rant without inspiration lol …I feel the way I do because I am passionate about God’s Word and doing my best to live the way it teaches me and encourage others to do the same.
One of the most famous of the New Testament writers had a similar passion. His was born from a different place, and significantly fewer people will read this than have read some of the things he wrote when he was alive. The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the church he planted in Thessalonica, shares some encouragement and instructions. They are a young church, but have already begun to do some things well. He wants them to keep it up!
In one part of the letter, Paul outlines a few things that will help these young believers to gain the respect of those who observe them …rather than disdain:
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 | “Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 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, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
Love One Another
God taught these people to love each other. It seemed to come naturally for them, as they lived Holy Spirit led lives. This is kind of the bottom line for us as followers of Jesus today as well. If we could just love each other, so many of the other instructions wouldn’t be needed. I can’t talk about you if I truly love you. I cannot willfully bring shame and dishonor to your name if I love you. My heart will not allow me to humiliate you if I love you.
Lead a Quiet Life
A lot of us are ambitious. Most of us have dreams and aspirations. It’s good for us to recognize God’s assignment on our lives and pursue that thing. But can we turn it down a bit? The answer to Lil Jon’s question is simply that God’s Word urges us, through Paul’s pen, to be ambitious about being quiet. One way we can help each other not to have business to meddle in is to live a life that doesn’t cause our business to be all in the streets.
Mind Your Business
This is literally my whole point. Drink water and mind your own business. This is it. This is the tweet.
Have Some Business
Part of the instruction to mind our own business includes having some business to mind. When we stay busy doing what we’re supposed to be doing, the time to be in everybody else’s really is at a premium. When we avoid the work right in front of us, we’re prone to look around the room. When I was in elementary school, that was grounds for being dismissed from the room and have a zero entered as your score for that assignment.
At this big age, I ought to be able to keep my eyes on my own paper.
Keith Goosby II is the founding minister of NET Church. He has served in ministry for over 20 years, in various capacities–including music, social media management, teaching, preaching, consulting, and leadership. Keith’s first church experience as a child was a home church. Since then, he has attended and served at churches sizing from just a few to over 10,000–of various denominations and affiliations. As NET Church is being planted, Keith continues to serve at his Dallas home church, Golden Gate MBC, in Dallas, TX, under the leadership of Minister Vincent T. Parker. Keith is married and currently lives in the Dallas area with his wife and three sons.