April 4, 2014
I'm a Meddler
"... aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you." 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (ESV)
I did it again. Stepped in to a situation that didn't concern me. I told myself I was helping, but it wasn't my place to speak up. As usual, it backfired.
Contemplating all that had happened that evening, Jesus spoke to me. Of course, not literally spoke to me, but He nudged my heart: You're a meddler, Lynn, and you need to be done with it. When you meddle, you are not trusting. When you meddle, you are saying I can't handle it. You know I can. So be done with it. No more.
I'm a meddler.
I like to say I'm a "fixer." That's what I have called it in the past, but truth is, that's just a nicer way of putting it.
Not a gossiper. No, that is someone who intentionally separates and that's not my heart. I want to help. Really I do.
I'm a meddler. Dictionary.com defines the verb "meddle" this way: "To involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere officiously and unwantedly."
Without right or invitation. That's what I do. Seeing an unhappy, unhealthy or unholy situation I listen to the whisper in my head. Since I see it, I think I'm instructed to do something about it.
But most often, I am not. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says "... aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you."
My place is to be quiet and pray. But I still prefer to fix, manipulate and get involved.
In other words, I meddle.
So, there you have it. Now that I see my actions for what they are, it's my responsibility to change. And in order to change, I will have to slow down before I take action or open my mouth. I'll have to ask myself: Are you meddling?
Will I be tempted to meddle? Every day. Will I mess up? I hope not, but it's highly probable. I'm human. My desire, though, is to mind my own affairs and let Jesus get involved. I will ask Him for prayers to pray, not words to say.
This change is going to be hard. But I know Jesus is serious about not meddling. Proverbs 26:17 says, "Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears" (ESV). In other words, meddling isn't smart! And that is not what I want to be; I want to be wise.
Any other meddlers out there? Can you think of times when you got involved and you shouldn't have? Especially when the thing Jesus wanted you to do was to pray — and only pray? Let's pray for each other and ask Jesus to open our eyes to see and leave our troubles up to Him.
Jesus, I'm a woman who wants to be a fixer. But that's not really my place; it's Yours. Open my eyes before I step in, and empower me to resist the temptation to get involved. Teach me to pray instead, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
The Mended Heart by Suzie Eller will encourage you to trust Jesus, to give and receive grace and to move ahead ... even if others don't move with you.
Are you a meddler? Maybe your friends are too! Together consider going through Karen Ehman's book Let. It. Go. written just for those of us who struggle trying to leave our troubles up to Him!
Reflect and Respond:
What particular circumstances draw out the meddler in you? Trouble between friends? Arguments between family members? Right now, ask the Holy Spirit for prayers to pray for those you love instead of words to say.
Often meddling is fueled by fear. Ask yourself: What do I fear?
Matthew 7:3-5, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (NIV)
© 2014 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 04 April 2014.