Part 3 - Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?

In Part 1 we explained the characteristics of a busybody, places they do their work and things they don't possess.  Then in Part 2, we discussed the title and 2 Thess 3.  In this part of the series, we are going to look at some more scripture that discusses the busybody.

1 Thessalonians 4
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Verse 11 continues after Paul was speaking about brotherly love in the previous verses.  Love respects its neighbor and provides for it own so as not to burden another.  Verse 11 tells us what to do and verse 12 he tells us why.  Let's break down verse 11:
  1. Study to be quiet - let's face it, the busybody is loud and busy talking!  Her spirit, disposition and demeanor are anything but quiet.  If we find ourselves succumbing to getting our nose into other's business - we need to heed more diligently this command to study to be quiet.  The word quiet here means to keep still, cease, hold your peace and refrain from meddlesomeness.
  2. Do your OWN business - if we all lived by this rule there would be no idleness and therefore there would be no busybodies.  Get busy in your life not someone else's!  A lot of times women neglect their own and congratulate themselves in being busy with others but at the same time they become engrossed in other's business in their mission to do "good".  Tell me what is good about teaching a children's church when you do not even teach your own child?  I've seen it happen.  I've seen parents who don't spend time with their children, they never read the Bible to them but they are enjoying the praises and glory of man in the SEEN things they do for others.  Then you have the wife that neglects her husband behind the scenes yet on the surface everyone sees her great works.  Oh, let us return to being full of our own business and not so much the things that bring glory from man but giving ourselves to the things that may seem to go unseen but their effects are everlasting.  Let's not forsake the very best while doing good.
  3. Work with your OWN hands - we should have something to show that our hands have done.  Instead of having our mouths running, we should have our hands moving and being industrious.  I like Barnes' commentary on this phrase: "no one has a right to live in such a relation as to be wholly dependent on others, if he can support himself; and no one has a right to compel others to labor for him, and to exact their unrequited toil, in order that he may be supported in indolence and ease. The application of this rule to all mankind would speedily put an end to slavery, and would convert multitudes, even in the church, from useless to useful people." 

Why are we commanded to do such?  Not only to be obedience of God's word and because love behaves so, but also that you may live an honest life by making your own living.  Here is Barnes wonderful commentary on verse 12:

The phrase is to be taken in connection not merely with that which immediately precedes it - as if “their walking honestly toward those who were without” would preserve them from want - but as meaning that their industrious and quiet habits; their patient attention to their own business, and upright dealing with every man, would do it. They would, in this way, have a competence, and would not be beholden to others. Learn hence, that it is the duty of a Christian so to live as not to be dependent on others, unless he is made so by events of divine Providence which he cannot foresee or control. No man should be dependent on others as the result of idle habits; of extravagance and improvidence; of the neglect of his own business, and of intermeddling with that of others.

I also wanted to add Henry's commentary:

People often by their slothfulness bring themselves into narrow circumstances, and reduce themselves to great straits, and are liable to many wants, when such as are diligent in their own business live comfortably and have lack of nothing. They are not burdensome to their friends, nor scandalous to strangers. They earn their own bread, and have the greatest pleasure in so doing.

Ain't that the truth!?  The sinners shouldn't be saying that Christianity makes you a moocher or a beggar.  God gave us these commands so that we would show the world that God never fails.  Sadly, there are many who groan about how much they don't have or didn't have as a minister and they leave serving God only to bring a disgrace to Christianity for their own slothfulness.  It isn't God or the ministry that makes you poor and of want - it is your own laziness and covetousness.

The context of my title "Whose Bread Are You Chewing On" is speaking of eating one's own bread - as coming from one's own work and not another's.  I did take it slightly out of context, though it holds it true meaning, of not being a busybody.  In view of occupation, most understand men working as this referring to but women working should not be forsaken.  Of course I'm speaking of the Biblical calling of women working at home.  If a women as a homekeeper is lazy, idle, not doing her own business and not working with her own hands - I believe the whole family will suffer as well.

A lot of times families have trouble, not because the man isn't doing his role in working, but because the woman is at home sitting on her rump doing nothing!  She is on the phone in other's business, neglecting her duties and family and thus they are destroyed.  She can't feed her family without extreme extravagance and spends up her husband's money because her own slothfulness and covetousness forbade frugality.  She will find time to be busy about other's affairs but not her own.

Ladies, let's get real and down to earth here ok?  A friend will tell you the truth right?  I can say, from my own experience the past 10 years as a homekeeper, that if we don't give our time to managing our homes and our families, our entire family WILL not work properly!  If you are not full of your OWN, maybe its time you cut out some activities or really look at why you are doing them.  Is it because you receive glory of man?  Is it because doing something for others brings more glory than managing your home more effeciently?  A lot of times I've seen this happen and the women have no peace but try and comfort themselves by what they are doing.

Let's not be deceived - our calling as women, our ministry, is OUR HOMES!  It is not being the greatest teacher, it is not feeding the poor or volunteering at a soup kitchen and all the other things we tend to pat ourselves on the back for.  It is being engrossed in our homes, our husbands and our children.  My ministry for God is right here in my home and I can't spend too much time outside of my home because if I did I couldn't train up my child and have my husband's needs met and I surely would fall prey to being a busybody in other's affairs if I forsake my own.