Don’t meddle in other people’s business
Scan any news stream or watch any TV talk show and you’ll discover that ‘meddling’ has become a multibillion-dollar business. But it’s not the kind of business a follower of Christ should be in. And while mothers-in-law sometimes have a reputation for being meddlers, they haven’t cornered the market. Men, relatives, co-workers, and well-meaning friends also tend to interfere.
Unlike gossips, meddlers like to elicit personal information directly from their subjects. ‘How can you afford such an expensive car?’ ‘What size is that outfit you’re wearing?’ ‘How much did you pay for your house?’ ‘How long can you afford to be off work?’ Often these kinds of questions serve no purpose other than to satisfy a shallow mind. Yes, some people genuinely want to help, or even pray about your situation—but not meddlers. So learn to keep your inquisitiveness within the bounds of what’s appropriate.
Solomon said, ‘Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.’ (Proverbs 26:17 ESV) A dog’s ears are among the most sensitive areas of its body. And if you pull them randomly, the dog may bite you. Likewise, when you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong, it may get bitten off. God classifies meddling as a sin—right up there with murder and stealing: ‘If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.’ (1 Peter 4:15 NIV)
A wise person joked that the reason people who mind their own business are so successful is because they have so little competition. So don’t meddle!