Sidetracked

“Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to live until I come back, that is not your business. You follow me.” John 21:22 NCV

“There’s my business and none of my business.” Unknown

Some of the stickiest, ickiest relationship problems are when I judge, usually when I’m not following God and especially when I don’t want to address something inside myself. Those two go together, unfortunately. Boy! That so-and-so drinks too much. That may be true. Why did I judge? Have I overindulged in something at some point? Make sure he doesn’t drive—that’s your business. That person is so selfish! That may be true. If I hadn’t been selfish, I would not recognize selfishness, would I? Ain’t that a kick in the head!

But the reverse may be true to. If I see something wonderful in another, maybe there’s something wonderful in me too.

I had a step-mother who was very judgmental about my husband, especially his battle with his weight. She would talk about him behind his back and found others to agree. Except…My husband had a disease that limited his mobility and his mind—impulse control. We really don’t know what is at the foundation of a problem. It also kept her in the dark about her own issues and isolated her from fellow church members and her own family. She lives to this day. By herself. Alone. She still could follow Jesus.

If I’m to help another, there’s an urging from the Holy Spirit and more frequently, a person asks. Sometimes we need to extend patience, space and safety to the person who’s in need. In the meantime, mouth shut, prayer offered and mercy extended. Follow Jesus. That’s how I grew. That’s how I sadly saw my judgment was an “icky” thing to address and handed it over to my father. My business and none of my business. There’s good news! It gets easier because the rewards are so joyful. The relationships so rewarding. Another miracle of grace. It works!

Musings

When I am tempted to gossip or judge, I remember: There’s my business and none of my business. Follow Jesus. The biggest blessing in not judging is there’s lovely space and grace for the other to grow and myself to grow. To create the blessing of a loving and accepting relationship. Someone said, “Better get along with others now or how will you in heaven?” We all have our own business to tend to.

*However, if you’ve suffered trauma, abuse or grief from someone, that’s an entirely different matter to take to a counselor, trusted friend, support group or pastor. Please don’t suffer alone.

Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank you for your son who modeled business perfectly. He ministered to individuals, like the Samaritan woman, privately and with dignity, grace and hope. Remind us to practice this for those we meet today and even for ourselves. As Jesus said to his parents as a youngster, “I must be about my Father’s business”. We need your grace to do this too.

Amen.

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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