We are going to do what is referred to as a ‘word study’. However, the subject is very applicable to what we see in the world today. First of all and again, I must mention to you if you are reading these teachings for the first time, that Old English and Modern English are very different as far as the meanings and the interpretation is concerned.
We are going to base this teaching on II Thessalonians chapter 3 verse 11. Here we see the word ‘busybodies’ clearly mentioned. We will also take the time to look for other verses that contain this term so that we can expand our knowledge about the meaning of busybodies in its biblical concept.
I must mention to you that I have never seen a teaching on this particular subject in the ministry in which I studied. I have never taught a teaching in my own ministry about this subject. But it has become more and more important in this so-called modern world in which we live. The first great commandment states that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -- Matthew 6: 33
If we put anything before God in our lives, we are practicing idolatry. This is one of the greatest sins there can ever be in this country in which we live and mainly all over the world. People practice idolatry as a way of life. When you worship that cell phone or that truck you’re driving, this is the same thing as idolatry. The adversary, who is the god of this world for the present time has people baffled and totally deceived. Now that's one of the points I want to get across. He is a master of deception -- he is the professional of all professionals when it comes to deceiving people into thinking his way. You have to know the Word of God and you have to know it well -- that is the only way that Satan cannot deceive you. A busybody in modern English is known as someone who never minds their own business. They gossip all the time and they have their nose in everyone else's affairs. In biblical times, this definition is somewhat similar, but in essence, it is different. I want to go over this with you so that the next time you read that verse in Thessalonians, you will not be deceived but the verse will be clearer to you than it's ever been before. Let's take a look at that verse before we go any farther.
As you remember, context is one of the ways that the Word of God interprets itself. So we are going to start back in verse 10 so that we have some of the context of the chapter.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. -- II Thessalonians 3: 10
Now this is obviously a figure of speech which is placed here to make a point and to grab your attention and to make you stop and think. Now we know that every man eats, which means that every man must work to some extent. But God is trying to set us up for what is in the next verse. You can still work and be very lazy. It depends on how much work you do during the day. I myself had opportunities in this area thinking that because I teach God Word - well excusez-moi, I really don't have to do much more than that. That's outright deception and I almost fell for it until I spoke to my soul mate and I said hey, something is wrong here. I asked her to make me a list of the tasks and work that needed to be done in our home while she was at work. Well, I hope you can take a joke -- I should have kept my mouth shut. Not really! Since I've been doing much more work in this home based on the system that we devised, I have been more blessed in my life that I've been in many years. God is trying to get a point across in an unusual way with this figure of speech which I will explain to you in detail. He's really saying “you lazy bum, you don't want to work, then you shouldn't be allowed to eat.” Being slothful is a devilish influence.
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; -- Romans 12: 11
It is referring to a person who wastes time. Now you remember how I mentioned this great deceiver. You also, and anyone can be deceived by Satan into doing the wrong thing every day and thinking it's the right thing. It's really something and I'm sure many of you have experienced this before. Go to only a believer if you can't get revelation or discern revelation from God Almighty. Go to someone that you are positive that you can trust and ask for their help. If they care about you with the love of God, they will gladly help you.
Now about this figure of speech in verse 10. It is a figure called Omission of the Conclusion. You see, the conclusion is the fact that every man must eat, therefore every man must work, but it is omitted. That's the reason for the title of the figure -- it is self-explanatory. Now God has laid some groundwork for our main Scripture and that's what we will study next.
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. – II Thessalonians 3: 11
It is so easy to misunderstand the word ‘busybodies’. The biblical meaning of this word is ironic in many ways. It shows us that we can be doing something and thinking we’re doing something great and we are accomplishing nothing at all. Let me give you a more specific and detailed definition of busybodies as it is defined in Old English. The following is what it means in the Bible and that applies to us today.
Busybodies -- to do with pains what is not worth doing; overdoing but accomplishing nothing. You see, this reminds me of a person who tries to gain salvation by works and we should all know that it is by grace and not works. Grace is divine favor. You cannot work to be born again, but some people try. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with sweeping the steps on a church or shoveling the snow in the winter time. However, if that person does not keep God first and is not study God's Word diligently like we do, he is accomplishing nothing. Isn't that something? To conclude this point more specifically and emphatically, you can be busy but not be doing God's Will! Does this sound familiar to you? Do you think you might be doing this in some area of your life? Watch out for the deceiver -- he can trick even the most elect. He can fool the smartest person on the face of this earth unless that person has the Word of God in their heart and in the application of their lives. I'm being honest with you -- this is the only way. Otherwise you will be fooled, you will be led around by the nose and you surely will be deceived day after day after day. Only the Word of God allows you to separate truth from error. The enemy is having a field day lately and the social atmosphere of this country and world is becoming more and more negative. He knows that his time is short and I believe it's really short, so he is going to take with him as many people as he can. So you must keep God first and you must study and you must pray and you must absolutely apply the principles of God's Word in your everyday life. There is only one thing that beats the Devil and that is God's Word rightly divided living in the heart of a man or woman who manifests the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation.
It is only proper to make you aware that there are only three occurrences of the word busybodies in the Bible. We are going to study the next two occurrences and we will see that the old English and the new English are also somewhat very similar in many ways. The point of this teaching is so that we don't become busybodies and it is very tempting to do so. I myself, am tempted many times to mind another person's business. It seems to be a way of life in this world. That does not mean that it is correct. It conflicts with the Word of God. Before we begin, let's take a look at Philippians 4: 8 and see what God says we are to think on and what we are to speak on.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. -- Philippians 4: 8
I think the verse speaks for itself and shows you the opposite of living like a busybody. Let's take a look at another verse in Ephesians pertaining to corrupt communication.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. -- Ephesians 4: 29
If we say something about somebody, it should be something good or nothing at all. That's the simplicity of understanding that verse. Now we have laid a small foundation but a powerful one, for the Scriptures that pertain to being a busybody. The first verse that we are going to examine is in Timothy.
If you read the prior verses, you will see that the context is talking about widows refusing to follow every good work. In fact they have turned their back on Christ and decided to marry. Many times, but not always, it is best to stay single so that you can concentrate on your walk with God and not on material things. Do not take this the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with being married, but most of the time, you will walk a stronger walk if you do not marry. But what happens to us is that we feel that we cannot make it on our own any longer and we marry for strength and encouragement from each other. Their first faith was God Almighty and now they have cast that off. Now watch what happens to them in the next verse.
And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. -- I Timothy 5: 13
This verse sounds more like our modern definition of busybody. However, like in Thessalonians, a person who acts in this manner does nothing and accomplishes nothing for God Almighty. But look at the personality traits of these women. First of all, they are idle – they learned how to be idle. Is an idle mind the devil's workshop? In many cases, this is true. So they are idle and they wander about from house to house. Have you ever known a person who lives on gossip? They're going to the neighbors house across the street and to another neighbor's house and they're spreading their garbage to each and every person. The word tattlers is very interesting. They are telling little secrets about their friends and their acquaintances and even about their family. Out of their mouth, comes nothing but gossip and things that they should not be speaking about. Philippians 4: 8 tells us what we are to be thinking about and speaking about. This habit of most people is very hard to break. It is contagious and your neighbors will be expecting to hear the “news” from you. This is why are so many believers get involved in God's Word and begin to get away from the people that they were acquainted with. There is no other way. Once you become born again and you renew your mind, mostly all people will treat you like you used to be. You can see what a trap Satan sets for so many people. But you must remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Young's concordance states about the same thing as the verse, but Bullinger's lexicon gives a more interesting definition. It says that a person who is a busybody takes needless trouble to be meddling in other people's affairs and to be curious pertaining to ideas and things that are none of their business. I have expanded the definition to make it a little more clearer for you. A person who gossips and meddles in others' affairs is going through all of that trouble for nothing. There simply is no profit in what they are doing, not for God surely and not for them. They are curious and they constantly meddle in other people's affairs. Why – is what you are asking me. It is because they need to be delivered. This busybody idea is a spirit from the god of this world and only the Word of God will set a man or woman free. Remember Ephesians 6: 12. We are always in a spiritual competition. We do not fight against flesh and blood. That's what the Word says and that's what the Word means.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [from on high]. – Ephesians 6: 12
I didn't write the book.
Proceeding now to the third and final Scripture in the Bible that mentions the word busybodies. As we have done before, we are going to read the Scripture prior to the one that we will study specifically. This allows us to get some context so that we know something about what the chapter is talking about. So let us begin with this prior verse.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye ; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. – I Peter 4: 14
If you are reproached and insulted by some unbeliever because of your belief in Jesus Christ and what he accomplished, you should be happy. Can you believe that? You must understand that if you're not doing anything to aggravate and destroy the adversary, he is not going to do anything to you. But if you are a thorn in his flesh, he will do everything he can to stop you from moving God's Word. So when you get pressure and tribulation, you should rejoice because you know you're doing something right. On the unbelievers part, Jesus Christ and God are evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. Now who do you think is going to win in the end? In fact, we have already won. We have eternal life and all hell can't stop us. Now let's go to the next verse which mentions the word busybodies. It is a very simple verse and it is the final verse where we will study this interesting term.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. – I Peter 4: 15
In the previous verse, God states that we will glorify Him. Now in the next verse, you must understand the meaning of the word “But”. But sets in contrast that which is said before.
So God starts out verse 15 with the word “But”. God tries to give us some guidance and He says He wants none of us to suffer as a murderer or as a thief or as an evildoer and here it is -- or as a busybody in other men's matters. God is trying to warn us that this will result in our demise and eventual destruction. I realize that the overall topic of this teaching is not exactly cheerful but we need to know the enemy's methods and devices so that we can defeat him on every hand. That should cheer you up as a believer. We need to resist the devil and then he will flee from us as the Bible teaches. You cannot resist him if you don't know he is there working.
Again, Young's concordance practically quotes the same thing that is in the King James version as we have mentioned above. The concordance stresses the point about not to be a busybody in other men's matters. We are to mind our own business and stop watching what other people are doing and trying to imitate them. This results in a profitless, worthless, lifestyle.
Bullinger's lexicon gets into a little more detail about this verse. Interestingly, it says we are not to be an inspector or an observer of other people's affairs. The lexicon also states that we are not to pry into the affairs of others. That's what a busybody does. We need to renew our minds not to do these things, but to work quietly and to stay to ourselves and to mind our own business and not pry into the affairs of others. It could not be put any simply or succinctly.
That actually sums up all the meanings used in the Bible about the word busybodies. It seems like an unusual lesson, doesn't it? But these small details that we think are small details are sometimes major issues in our lives and our walk with God. We need to master these principles and we need not to be a busybody at any time or at any place. Sure, it takes an effort and the renewed mind is not an easy process. But God would not state this in His Word if it were not available. He wants us to make an effort and to act first and then He will bless us. It's really a beautiful thing.
Again, and in conclusion, God talks about rejoicing when you suffer for Him. The enemy will never come after you unless you're doing something to damage or destroy his kingdom. You need to remember this. I think it would be most appropriate to absolutely conclude this teaching with the following verses. God bless -- -- you're the best and don't you forget it.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. – I Peter 4: 16
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them [any and all devil spirits that exist]: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. – I John 4: 4
The spirit of God in Christ in you is greater than all the power of the adversary.
What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? -- Romans 8: 31
Rejoice in the Lord alway [always – pantote] and again I say, Rejoice. – Philippians 4: 4
You are in the company of great men of God when you put up with the tribulation that the world throws at you. All the great prophets and apostles of the Old and New Testament went through the same thing. You stand with great company and you should always feel good about yourself, and strange as it may sound, you should glorify God as a Christian when the adversary does what he can to make your life miserable. You can always beat him. Remember that. There is only one key to power and you should know what it is -- it is the renewed mind. The more you renew your mind to God's Word, the less pressure and tribulation can appear to defeat you. When you believe God's Word and apply it, you cannot be defeated.