Jesus just finished a heart-to-heart talk with Peter. He gave him instructions: Feed my sheep! He gave him a prophecy: When you were young you dressed yourself and pretty much decided when and when you would go; but when you are old someone else will dress you and make decisions for you .. then Peter, turning about saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following … Peter seeing him (John) said to him, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus said to him, What is that to you? You follow me (John 21:20-22). When Peter looked away from Jesus and began to ask questions about John, Jesus gave Peter a rebuke: Peter, Mind your own business! It reminds me of a message I found on the floor at school:
The best BUSINESS
In the line of BUSINESS
Is to tend to the BUSINESS of your own
So if you have no BUSINESS
Then make it your BUSINESS
To leave other people’s BUSINESS alone!
When Peter turned, his focus was no longer on Jesus but on John. He was DISTRACTED. He began to ask questions that were none of his business. Very often, people and circumstances in your life DISTRACT you, DECEIVE you, and then DESTROY you.
BE ALERT TO DISTRACTIONS
How great are our tendencies to be distracted by the words of others, their actions, their great jobs, or their complaints about ours. It is common for us to think that we are required to sacrifice more than someone else. When we mature, we learn that every distraction, even momentarily, causes us to lose our focus on what is most important. Distractions weaken our faith and resolve, and they prevent us from being devoted wholeheartedly to our assignments. Scripture warns us repeatedly not to be led astray by false doctrine and philosophies. There is much emphasis on what seems right, sounds good, and satisfies our desires, but its satisfaction is only temporary. Any move away from the Way Jesus teaches, no matter how good it seems, will lead to deception and failing away from the Truth.
BE ALERT TO DECEPTIONS
No one is immune to deception. Some become distracted by pseudo-spiritual words and actions, and then are deceived by prophesies, signs, and wonders. Remember Jesus said, signs FOLLOW those who believe; He did not say believers are to FOLLOW signs! He says His disciples will be known by their FRUIT not by their gifts.
Do not be distracted, then deceived, by those who would intimidate you with their phony prophecies. Now, friends, there cannot be the counterfeit unless there is the real, and I believe in real prophecy; but there are far too many self-proclaimed prophets sitting in-wait to deceive. They manipulate, intimidate, regulate, and orchestrate by their own prophetic words. Once you are in their clutches, you move at their command–often as if hypnotized. You seek guidance from them. You desire a word from the Lord and go to them. You are deceived! This is the real co-dependency that should be abolished!
BE ALERT TO DEVOURERS
People will tear you apart. You speak the TRUTH to them, in love, and they’ll rip up your heart. They’ll knife you in the back. You think they are your dearest friends. You think they have your best interest at heart. You think they want to do all they can to help you. Then you say or do something that upsets them and they turn on you! Jesus said this would happen. He said people would take advantage of you and persecute YOU. The purpose of an attack is to sift you like wheat so you’ll be separated within yourself and have no direction; this is how the enemy can rob, kill, and destroy your influence, and to cause you to faint in your mind–wear you out! But if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small (Prov. 24:10). You are able to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy and not be devoured because you know your God! Because you keep your eyes on Jesus! Because you mind your own business!
I don’t know the future of your church. I’ve lived long enough to see many congregations that spiraled to hundreds, even thousands, in the last few decades are now barely making it or have already closed their doors. Many that seem to be powerful, big, and mighty today may be just an offense away from destruction. It only takes one disagreement, one discord, to sift and divide a congregation, a marriage, a family, or even a corporation. Picking up offenses and joining the ranks of the discontented will result in a disappointment and collapse. Then comes the introspection: Since I couldn’t do anything to effect a positive change, why didn’t I leave the situation alone rather than sticking my nose into it. They come to regret not minding their own business rather than taking on the business of someone else.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds–maybe not much more of the wealth and prosperity so enjoyed by America over the past decades. Sadly, many have confused it with rewards for being good, or in the church it has been confused with God’s anointing. Probably not much more time of peace and fearless going to and fro as we pleased, for we have mistaken that for God’s freedom. But we do know, Jesus said, Occupy till I come… (Luke 19.13). And that means for us to do business! He gave each one of us an assignment. Do what’s assigned to you! And don’t turn and look at someone else! Don’t pick up their offenses, nor look for someone else to blame for your own plight! Neither be concerned that they aren’t doing their job, nor even be concerned what their job should be (unless that’s your business)! It’s your business to make sure you are fulfilling your assignment–as a mom, a dad, a boss, an employee, a pastor, an usher, a greeter. Be sure your account is settled and there’s nothing between your soul and your Savior! It’s your business to be concerned with yourself and your own purity.
Jesus is the author of your faith–the one who created it and gave it to you. He’s the finisher of your faith–the one who will bring you safely across the finish line of life. He’s the perfecter of your faith–the one who causes your faith to grow, mature, and be sufficient in times of stress and trial. The songwriter so aptly put it: When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay!
Mind your own business. Keep your heart pure and tender. Remember, Jesus gives you a heart of flesh in exchange for your heart of stone. Both break. But the heart Jesus gives also heals. The other one stays in pieces.
Do not be distracted.
Do not he deceived.
Do not he devoured.
Mind your own business!
(c) by C. Yvonne Karl. Revised from The Alabaster Box, Vol 9 No 01 Yr 1994. firstname.lastname@example.org