When it is My Business
Reading: Galatians 1-6
“It isn’t any of my business.”
No one like a busybody. We don’t appreciate people meddling in our affairs, telling us what to do, or what not to do. Because of our aversion to those kinds of people we easily develop a “live and let live” policy. It uncomplicates relationships, makes life a whole lot less messy, and gives us the freedom to do as we want without the expectation of being confronted with our own moral and ethical faux pas.
The trouble is that such an attitude is anti-biblical. Oh I don’t mean to say that being a busybody is biblical, but sometimes minding our own business can be.
Paul’s letter to the Galatians is mostly a clarification of works versus grace. But when he gets to the end of the letter he targets those who claim grace as a license for sin (5:16-21) telling his readers that those who truly are Spirit-filled, resist the old habits that once characterized them and replace those old habits with the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-26.
But here’s the point. When a brother sins, it IS our business. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you may also be tempted. In this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, but each one should carry his own load” (6:1-5, NIV).
What is the law of Christ? Paul mentions it a few verses earlier in Galatians 5:14: “…Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you are a believer you will not be able to allow another believer to fall into sin, or to embrace a sin, without putting up a fight for the restoration of that other person. But you will do it with humility, gentleness, and fear, knowing that you are no better than anyone else.
But you have to make a brother’s sin your business, not as a busybody would, but as a believer concerned about the spiritual growth of another believer and as one who knows that the health of the rest of the body of believers, the church, will be compromised to the extent to which sin is not dealt with.
The apostle goes on to say: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows…Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (6:8-10, NIV).
We often quote this latter part of the passage to mean acts of kindness. There can be no greater kindness than to be the instrument God uses in the life of a brother to pick him up, dust him off, and set him on the road to blessing once more.