Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"What is That to You?"

     Ever notice how children always want what another child has?  They worry over it and fuss until they get it.  Then, they want the next thing the other child has and so it goes.  It seems they are never satisfied with what they have in their hands.  Just like us adults, children worry about what the other person is doing, saying or what they possess.    Of course, this is nothing new.  Peter had the same problem when he was talking with the Lord Jesus after His resurrection.
     As the disciples were gathered with Jesus having breakfast together, the Lord began to inquire of Peter if he loved Him.  He did this three times.  Each time, Peter answered in the affirmative and Jesus replied with a word about feeding and tending the sheep.  During this conversation, Peter raised a question about another disciple:  "Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said 'Lord who is it that is going to betray you?'  When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, 'Lord what about this man?'  Jesus said to him, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?  You follow me!'  So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?'" (John 21:20-23)
     Whenever the Lord was asked a question, I love the way He answered so directly.  Peter was concerned about what would happen to his fellow disciple.  In a loving, yet firm way, Jesus replied that it was none of his business.  Instead, it would be according to the will of the Lord what would become of him.  As for Peter, he had one command, "You follow Me."
     More than any other statement made in the New Testament, this one command resonates with me.  Far too often, we are so busy worrying about our neighbor that we do not look to our own spiritual growth.  Our call is to follow the Lord wherever He leads us.  We are to bloom where He has planted us, and use the gifts He has given to us.  Unfortunately, many of us get caught up with trying to micromanage everyone around us.  They should be like us, and think like us; otherwise, we tend to be uncomfortable around them.  However, God has made each of us unique.  No two people will ever have the same plan or call from God.
     When we are concerned about others more than how we are following the Lord, it can lead to squabbles in the church as well as in our relationships.  This does not mean that we are to ignore what others are doing.  If we see them in sin, the Bible speaks to this issue by encouraging us to go to them with another brother/sister and confront them so as to bring them into repentance.  However, beyond a genuine concern for their spiritual welfare, we are not to interject ourselves into their business.  No one likes someone looking over their shoulder all the time.  We have got to trust that God is BIG enough and SOVEREIGN over all things and that He will take care of our brother or sister in the Lord.  Our job is simple:  Follow the Lord.
     I am so grateful that at the end of his Gospel John wrote about this incident.  God put it there for our benefit so that we could avoid this pitfall which keeps us from hearing His instructions to us.  May we keep our eyes on our own walk and not on everyone else's walk in Christ.  Then, we will be more content, and effective for our Lord and look a lot less like a little child.   Selah!

I welcome your thoughts here.  Please feel free to leave your insights and words of encouragement.


Gospel One To One said...

Great Barbara,

Very though provoking. We need to keep our eyes on Him.



Barbara Thayer said...

Amen Moray. It is so easy to pay attention to what God is doing in someone else's life than to pay attention to our call. Satan loves to distract us! May we all grow in obedience to the Lord! Thank you for visiting and thank you for your inspiring ministry. I love to read your blog!

Patricia said...

It's interesting how God is speaking to us about the same thing, isn't it?

I like your spin on our tendency to compare..."what's that to you?"

Excellent post, Barbara.

Barbara Thayer said...

Yes Pat...the Lord has been working on me about not looking around at others and concentrating on what He has called me to do. I loved your blog and your post. It was such a blessing! How we often let the enemy of our souls get the best of us!! All the more reason to pray and keep pressing on!
Blessings my dear and talented friend!

Penned Pebbles said...

I know I'm late reading this, but God knows that it is right on time. people and the concerns we have for them can easily distract us away from Christ, even when we think that we are doing our Christian duty. God is concerned with us and wants us to remember and trust that He is concerned for others as well, more so than we could ever be! Blessings!