Growing a strong church one member at a time

Lesson 7 - Growing Closer to God Through Minding Your Business

Why is it we all love to talk about other people? Many of our conservations have the statement, "have you heard...." followed by some bit of juicy information. The more juicy the story, the better. Of course none us ending this would ever involve ourselves in gossip like this. Right? No one admits to taking part is this type conversation, yet still it happens all of the time. I know I am guilty of this on countless occasions, and honest Christians will all have to make this confession I suspect.

In this lesson we will explorer how minding our own business will allow us to grow closer to God, and how it will also build stronger relationships with our fellow man at eh same time.

James 4:11-17
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

There are two ways we may come into possession of information that should be kept confidential. The person effected tells us in confidence, and we hear about a situation from a third-party. When someone shares a private situation with us, they are placing their trust in our hands. When we violate that trust we are betraying them, their trust in us, and creating a division that may never heal. When a third-person brings us a some gossip (and we didn't have the judgement to stop them from sharing). In this situation it is almost a certainty that you are not hearing the full, true, unbiased story. A wise man once said there are not 2 sides to a story, there are 3. Yours, mine, and the truth (which is typically somewhere in the middle). It is so important to avoid gossip, but when you are exposed to it, it is critical to realize there you do not have all of the story. Since you don't have the whole story the best thing you can do is,..... nothing. Say nothing. Think nothing. Do nothing.

Sometimes we will attempt to justify minding someone else's business by convincing ourselves we have the person's best interest at heart. Here are some excuses we use to share private information with others:

 1. I will tell someone else so they can help me counsel, pray for, support, etc. the person.
  If the person who has shared their struggle with you wanted others to know, they would have told those people themselves.
 2. I will tell someone else because they have struggled with the issue in the past or struggle with it now.
  Betraying one person to try to help other is not noble. It is often a veiled way glorifying oneself.
 3.  I will tell someone else so they know they can come to me with their problems.
  Like the previous point, you are sending a clear message, "I can't be trusted,"

There are times when sharing information may be needed.

1. The person has told us they intend to harm themselves.
2. The person is on a path to do long-term damage to their soul