The challenge some of us have is getting too interested in the private affairs of other people. Each person God created has his own private life to live. Sometimes, the tendency is to meddle in the private concerns of others. This can result in loss of respect and honour. Even Proverbs 25:17 (ASV) warns, “Let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbour’s house, lest he be weary of thee, and hate thee.” The New Living Translation puts it this way, “Don’t visit your neighbour too often, or you will wear out your welcome.”
This is a word of wisdom, and it corresponds with the saying that distance lends enchantment to the view – meaning that things that are far away from you appear more fascinating than they really are.
There must be very compelling reasons why King Solomon made the above statement in Proverbs. A busybody definitely does not manage his life well. Many a time he leaves the productive activities he should be engaged in to discuss other people or issues with friends or neighbours who are ready to tolerate him. Obviously the busybody does not consider what he needs to do as important as meddling in the business of others.
If you don’t consider what you do important, you won’t devote your time and energy to them. Also, if you don’t have joy in doing the things you do, you will not give them the desired attention. 2 Thessalonians 3:11 (NKJV) says, “… For we hear that there are some who walk among you in disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.”
The consequence of such a life is that the individual wastes his time, energy and life. His talents and abilities are not effectively deployed. He may develop the spirit of envy and jealousy, leading to covetousness. Greed for money, power and possessions will lead to discontentment, which is common among many people.
Comparison with other people is the height of ignorance and foolishness. We must not compare ourselves with others. 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV) says, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”
The truth is that God has given you everything you need for the plans He has set before you. He has prepared you for good works, and every good gift comes from Him. Psalm 139:14 (NIV) says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Sometimes, comparing yourself with other people can take joy away from you. You tend to focus on what you don’t have, instead of rejoicing over what you have, and giving gratitude to God. Instead of comparing yourself with others, ask God to give you a grateful heart. Happiness comes from enjoying what God has given you. When you dwell on what you do not have, you are not enjoying what God has already given you.
Don’t feel inferior because of what the other person has. Think of what you can do yourself. In so doing, you compare yourself with yourself and aspire to become more and more of yourself. You grow and develop yourself to become the person God created you to be and not another person.
Remember that we are created and equipped for different functions. Romans 12:4-5(NIV) says, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” You have to discover yourself and focus on your peculiar or unique functions or responsibilities and aspire to excel there. In order to excel, you must aim at consistent improvements in whatever you do. If you aim at daily improvements in your business or whatever you do, can you imagine what it will be in a month or a year?
Investing good thoughts on your business may be more beneficial than investing money. Proverbs 27:23,24 (AMP) advises, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure for all generations.”
Our fortunes can be uncertain. This is why we must be diligent in whatever God has put in our hands to do. You must think ahead, make plans and present them to Him. Then ask for guidance in the execution.