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"Today's Word" with Skip Moen

Devotional for September 16

By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evil-doer, or a troublesome meddler. 1 Peter 4:15

Troublesome meddler - This is the one Greek word, allotrioepiskopos. Here are two words in combination allotrios ("belonging to another, not your own") and episkopos ("overseer, superintendent and bishop"). The sense is being a boss of someone who does not report to you. In other words, not minding your own business but attempting to supervise someone else's responsibility. Peter tells us that no Christian should ever behave in this way.

The reason that Christians are not to be "bosses" over those who don't belong under them is both practical and theological. Peter was a very practical man. After all, he knew how to lead a crew on a fishing boat. Supervision and responsibility need to be clearly defined if the job is going to get done. More than one boss is too much. The practical side of Christian belief is the clear designation of individual roles and responsibilities under the leadership of Christ. Christians are organized people.

But there is a theological reason for not meddling in someone else's business. That reason is the orderliness of God. It is God who assigns our real roles and His purposes always contain the best use of everyone's abilities (and the abilities He provides). He is the real Boss, so it is unnecessary and unwise to try to take over His authority. There are plenty of guidelines for orderliness in Scripture, but they all fall under the Big Boss. He is more than able to run the whole team.

So often when we are frustrated that things are not going the way we think they should, we are tempted to "take over" someone else's job or at least tell them how they really should do their job. And inevitably this creates friction. No one likes to have an "outsider" tell him what he should do. So, God has a much better way of handling this. He gives the assignments. Under His management, everyone just fits perfectly into the plan. Before you jump into someone else's supervisory role, why not pause and ask yourself if God isn't handling the situation without you. It might not look like what you would do, but that doesn't mean it isn't what God wants someone else to do. Peter has another word for the right way to handle this temptation gentleness.

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"Today's Word" devotional, from Skip Moen . © 2008 is used by permission. All rights reserved.

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