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BUSYBODY BIBLE STUDY
Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Busybody Bible study on the dangers of being a busybody. The Bible has instruction for us about being a busybody and we should heed the warnings. Let's take a look at how we can prevent this pitfall in this Busybody Bible study.


BUSYBODY BIBLE STUDY

Did you know that if youíre a busybody, youíre against Jesus?

So it's a good idea to find out what a busybody is and avoid being one.

What is a busybody?
 

Let us seek the answer within the Bible ...


Anyone who volunteers their services (usually opinions) where they are neither asked nor needed ... They are meddlesome, intrusive, obtrusive, tactless, prying, annoying, exceeding the bounds of propriety in showing interest or curiosity or in offering advice, offering unwelcome attention, they are offensive, interfering, and/or inappropriately inquisitive.

That's quite a list!

Note: You don't have to employ everything in the list above to be a busybody. Just one trait is enough to qualify you. Also, being a busybody may not be a hat that a person wears all the time ... But like any other temptation in life, and especially because there is no financial burden involved, it can become something that grows into a big old nasty weed if you don't do something about it.

You may have thought that being a busybody was just being nosey, but apparently there are a few more characteristics that fall into the busybody character than you might have suspected. Let's take a look at these busybody traits up close, so that just in case you have a tendency to practice one of these rascals, you can sort of red flag it in your subconscious mind and it will help you to remember that it's not a redeeming Christian quality.

*******
CRYBABY WARNING:

We don't tickle ears here, but if you want the TRUTH ...

Just remember these two Proverbs when you feel offended if any of the things in this study pertain to you:

Proverbs 27:6
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 28:23
He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

*******

Shall we begin?

* A busybody is one who volunteers their services (usually opinions) where they are neither asked nor needed.
 
It may seem like a joking matter, but a lot of times we influence other people when we impulsively blurt out our opinions. Many times we may interject a comment because we want to be humorous, cuz people just love people that are funny y'know. But how often do we do this without carefully thinking or praying about it first? That doesn't mean that we should pray before every sentence we speak, but always discern whether the topic you're speaking about is any of your business and equally as important ... Be sure that what you say isn't just to be funny, to gain attention for yourself, or to be provocative, without considering that your comments could be the source of a person's choice about an important matter in their life. Above all, make certain that what you have to say, won't hurt anyone else. 

Does this mean that you should weigh every single word you say? Golly gee, that seems extreme ... Or does it? How many times have terrible things happened because of something you said ... And you didn't really mean it? Maybe you were just horsing around or teasing someone, but the result was disastrous. Being a responsible Christian does mean that you should consider that your actions affect others. It IS a responsibility. It's part of the commandment to love one another that Jesus taught over and over again in the Gospel. Throughout this study, you're about to read many Proverbs that Solomon wrote concerning this very thing. Does this mean that you can't be as funny or clown around or attract the attention you used to? Well, I don't know about that, but it does mean that you CAN begin to save yourself the regret for saying things that you didn't mean to harm, things that adversely affect others, and you CAN instead walk the way Jesus taught us to walk. If that's too much responsibility, and it cramps your style ... YOU'RE A BUSYBODY!

*A busybody is someone who is meddlesome.

There's a word that we don't use very frequently ... Meddlesome ... Even though many of us are meddling more often than we realize. Meddling is to interfere or intrude in someone else's business. This is a little different than volunteering your opinion, in the sense that meddling is a little more forceful than just offering an uninvited opinion.

Proverbs 26:17
He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

Proverbs 20:3
It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

No doubt about it, if you meddle in someone else's business ... You're lookin' for trouble ... And if you're not lookin' for it, you're gonna find it anyway!

*A busybody is intrusive.

That means unwelcome. In most cases, people are usually welcome, but it's their busybody qualities that aren't invited to crash the party. The next time you feel the urge to be intrusive ... Putting your two cents in where it doesn't belong, keep it to yourself. You'll find that you won't have to go home and pull your foot out of your mouth quite as often. How many times do we not recognize until it's too late, that we've spoken when we shouldn't have, and felt that embarrassing need to apologize later? We can all do without that. It also saves embarrassment to the person you apologize to, because many times, it's embarrassing to respond to an apology. (I mean, what's a person to say after you say you're sorry, "Yeah, that was pretty stupid of you!")

Proverbs 17:28
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

*A busybody is obtrusive.

What's the difference between intrusive and obtrusive? To be obtrusive is to be pushy and persistent. A busybody is someone who tends to force their opinion on others. If you can't rest because you feel like others just HAVE to see your point of view or share the same opinion as you ... You're being a busybody. If we could keep busy minds (reflecting on what Jesus would do in situations where our opinion differs from another's), instead of keeping busy bodies (carnal instincts to involve ourselves in what isn't our business), we'd be walking closer to the way that our Lord taught us.

1 Peter 4:15-16
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a
busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

*A busybody is tactless.

Busybodies have no sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense. They are inconsiderate. Frankly ... They just plain have no class. There's so much to be said about NOT saying so much:

Proverbs 29:20
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
Ecclesiastes 5:3
... a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

Sin is plentiful where there is a lot of talk ... It's smart to keep quiet:

Proverbs 10:19
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Whoever coined the phrase "Keep your trap shut" was indeed a wise person, because, as James teaches, the tongue is in fact a trap of the worst kind ... 

James, Chapter 3
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the TRUTH. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Yep, the mouth is a trap alright, and you can get caught in your own trap if you're not careful. Take a look at this part one more time: 

Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

You know, in our day-to-day lives, we hurt others enough by the things we say without meaning to, as James said, anybody who doesn't offend others by the things they say, is a perfect man, so why would anyone purposely hurt another because they're careless and don't want the responsibility of choosing the things they utter very carefully?

Jesus told us about the trap of the mouth as well:

Matthew 15:11
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Matthew 15:17-20
Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

*A busybody is prying.

There are some people who want to know everything about everybody, because it makes them feel important and smart. Why do some people spend their time finding out a lot of things about other people? It's not because of their deep heartfelt concern, it's so they can repeat it to someone else! Busybodies are blurters! They love to hear themselves talk. They cannot keep confidences. Busybodies are gossips! And guess what ... One who eagerly listens to gossip, is just as guilty as the person telling it.

Proverbs 11:13
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Proverbs 29:11
A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

Proverbs 14:33
Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

A good way to lose friends is to secretly tell their secrets to another.

Proverbs 16:28
A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

*A busybody is annoying.

Once you know how much trouble busybodies can cause, you realize how annoying they are. You don't want to hear their gossip, but most times, they just won't give up ... Like a gnat! It's probably a good idea to figure a way in your own words to arrest gossip in it's tracks, without bringing shame to the person spreading it, but at the same time, giving them food for thought about what they're doing. Memorize your plan of action and use it like you would any other common phrase and you'll be cleverly planting a good seed for the gossiper to ponder on.

Here's a common old one that you may have heard before: 
Loose lips sink ships!

*A busybody exceeds the bounds of propriety in showing interest, curiosity or in offering advice.

Chances are, if you use the words "If you ask me," ... Nobody asked. At times like these, when that irresistible urge to display your point of view takes hold, think twice before you make an offering of advice. Keep in mind, there is a time and a place for everything, and Heaven forbid, nobody wants you to be silent all the time ... But being discreet about the things you say will earn you the respect of others. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you when you converse with others.

Isaiah 50:4
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

Proverbs 15:23
A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

*A busybody offers unwelcome attention.

Some people are very private people. They don't like attention drawn to themselves. Some people are very shy and attention makes them uncomfortable. Some people are just tickled pink to observe quietly and not be noticed ... They are plenty satisfied to be 'behind the scenes' kind of people, but that doesn't mean they don't want to be involved or included ... They just prefer if the focus isn't on them. If you are NOT this way, it's honorable to respect the wishes of people who are. Just because someone is bashful, they shouldn't have to fear being pointed out, embarrassed, called on the carpet, forced to participate, or anything else that makes them feel uncomfortable. 

*A busybody is offensive.

There are two different ways that busybodies can be offensive: Offensive as in the opposite of defensive, or in other words ... Forward. A busybody can also be offensive as in offending another person. Some people talk about other people, for one reason, because they don't have anything else to talk about, and they'll talk about virtually anything so that people will listen to them. Another reason people may talk about others is that maybe they feel they have inadequacies of their own, so if they talk about other people, the focus will be on something other than their own faults. This fear of inadequacy can cause people to be on the offensive, attacking others, easily angered, etc. Be aware of this, and if you recognize this as a characteristic that you possess, it would be a good idea to seek how to control it.

James 1:19-20
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

How does a busybody offend others? Do you step on other people so you can be taller? What if the person youíre offending, has a special place in Godís heart, and God sees or hears you?

Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the Prophets.

*A busybody is interfering.

Most of the actions you can take to avoid being a busybody are not complicated, they're just common sense. You may mean well when you butt in to the concerns of others, but interfering usually just complicates matters. When you were a child, did you ever ask someone a question and their answer was, "None of your business"? If we could just call to mind the humiliation we felt at those times, it would be a lot easier to control ourselves when we're tempted to interfere in someone else's bees wax.

2 Thessalonians 3:11-15
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies
. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

People who have nothing better to do, tend to mind other peopleís business instead of their own, and weíve all done it, and seen it, too many times. Itís very important to warn them with love, because embarrassing someone to humiliate them instead of gently bringing them TRUTH can cause terrible damage instead of enlightenment Ö And enlightenment is the purpose.

The Bible says that widows have strong tendencies to be busybodies:

1 Timothy 5:13
And withal widows learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and
busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

They like to tell stories, because ... They have idle time on their hands. This oft times stirs up trouble.

Proverbs 26:20
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

Widows aren't the only ones who tell tales. How many times have you repeated a story, and you added a little flavor to it ... Y'know, to make it more interesting ... To get a bigger WOW from the person you were telling it to? You may have thought, What can it hurt to make a tale into a tall tale? Friend, if you're the one who the story is being told about ... It can hurt plenty. Then the next person adds a little more color to the story, and before you know it ... A life can be ruined.

Think for a moment about our fellow Christians. Some have jaded pasts, who are trying to renew their lives in Christ ... All it takes is one talebearer to make them feel shame enough to lose Faith in their "fellow" Christians, and in turn, the rest of their Faith suffers because of that one weak link.

It doesnít always have to be something bad that a busybody says ... Anything that isn't your business is gossip. Have you ever known someone who never has a bad thing to say about anyone? You've got to admit, you admire people that are like that. Strive to gain that quality! If youíre going to say something about someone, make sure itís something that lifts them up. In the Bible, this is referred to as edifying your fellows. Itís the Christian thing to do.

*A busybody is inappropriately inquisitive.

Society today has taught that peoples' personal affairs are fair game to everyone. People don't hesitate to ask others about private matters that are absolutely none of their business. If you have friends or family that voluntarily share their dreams or secrets or ideas or thoughts with you, they are trusting you, and those things are usually very special to them. It's something shared from one heart to another. They trust that you put the special secret things that they shared, into your heart and that you will keep them safe there. It's quite a different matter if you go snooping around in their heart, looking for things that they have no intention to share. 

AVOIDING GOSSIP

How else can you avoid gossip? If someone starts a sentence with:

Did you hear .....?
Guess what so and so did .....?
or
Did you know that .....?

... You can bet that it's gossip. Practice NOT starting your sentences like these. If you know people who do this a lot, you would be a good friend if you told them that you don't want to gossip about things that aren't your business, and that the Bible says not to. If your 'friends' don't like the TRUTH that you tell, it may be time to find some friends that understand your wishes to live by God's plan.

Don't forget, God hears everything you say, too:

Ecclesiastes 5:2
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in Heaven, and thou upon Earth: therefore let thy words be few.

If you find yourself being a busybody, doing any of the things we've discussed on this page, whether it be in private messages, in the chat room, in letters, e-mail, on the phone, or in person, you are against what Jesus taught. He invites you to come into the light.

Proverbs 25:11
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

 

DOES THE BUSYBODY BIBLE DESCRIPTION DESCRIBE YOU?

A wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can't we be like that wise old bird?

 

 

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