Minding our own business!

Changing someone else isn't our business. Changing ourselves is!

The gentle expression of concern, the loving offer of support, or even the giving of an opinion when we're asked for it are certainly all part of being active Christians. But knowing everyone's personal business, interfering in other people's lives, gossiping, thinking hatefully or negatively about others, all fall into the category of not minding our own business. And that kind of interference points to our own attempt, in some degree, to try to work out others' life experiences and salvation for them, to try to save them from learning an important or time-consuming lesson, or even to try to force on someone the lesson we think is needed. On the surface, such interference can seem based on Christian love and concern. But too often it may be the result of boredom, self-indulgence, impatience, or a sense of being wronged.

How do we discern between genuinely loving concern and personal interference? An honest assessment of our motive is vital. I've found that "A Rule for Motives and Acts" in the Manual of The Mother Church gives me a wonderful standard for judging. There Mrs. Eddy writes: "Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The members of this Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously." Man., Art. VIII, Sect. 1.

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