LPNI Devotion – December 2016


“You Don’t Have To Be A Busybody”


St. Paul speaks of “busybodies” in 2 Thessalonians 3:11.  A “busybody” is a body that is…busy. It is busy doing unnecessary or useless things.  It’s like praying over and over again, hoping that God will hear us for our much praying (Matthew 6:7).  It’s like confessing over and over again, because we want to be sure God has forgiven us, not trusting that He has.  “If we confess (not over and over again) our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:9, 7). It’s like doing countless good works, hoping for forgiveness, eternal life, and heaven, forgetting that we’re saved by grace through faith (God’s gift to us), not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9a).


Sometimes a “busybody” is busy doing things because it doesn’t want to do the “real” thing.  For example, a spouse overly involved in community activities because he/she doesn’t want to be home.  Or, a husband cleaning the kitchen instead of telling his wife “I’m sorry”.  Or, a student involved in numerous extra-curricular activities so he/she doesn’t have to study.  Or, a congrega- tion doing many things instead of talking with people about Jesus.


We all our busybodies – sometimes for good reasons, other times for bad or wrong reasons. There could be a number of reasons – a disorder, irresponsibility, demands at work, home, school, church, and other reasons.  But there is no doubt that one of the biggest reasons for being a busybody is undue (excessive) anxiety.  We remember the account of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42.  Martha invited Jesus to their home.  Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching.  Martha was distracted with much serving, resulting in she complaining to Jesus about Mary not helping.  Jesus responded, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  Jesus’ word “necessary” means “need”.  Jesus says one thing is needed – the Word of God.  The account of Mary and Martha is comparable to you and I having God’s Word in our lives, but becoming so distracted, busy and overburdened, we don’t listen to it.


What does the Word of God tell us?  It tells us that God is “the doing God” (Malachi 4:3).  Psalm 37:5 tells us to commit our way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.  “Act, O Lord, for your name’s sake” (Jeremiah 14:7).  God’s name, truth, and reputation are at stake.  He will act. St. Paul reminds us that all things work together for good, for those who love God (Romans 8:28). Paul is certain that God who began a good work in you, will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).  God does not forsake you.  He is with you always (Matthew 28: 20).  He is an acting, doing and working God – for you!


Martin Luther said, “I never knew the meaning of God’s Word until I came into affliction.” Friend, you know what anxiety, worry, doubt and fear are.  You’ve done that and will do it again.  And now, you know what God’s Word means when it says, “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).


Rev. Lawrence Boye

Pastor Emeritus, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

Manhattan, Kansas  USA