Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Keep calm and do this ...
You've likely seen a plethora of versions of "Keep calm and ..." The original statement is that shown to the right, "Keep calm and carry on."
Being curious as to the origin of the phrase, I did what any good researcher would do ... I googled it, and found this entry in Wikipedia:
"'Keep Calm and Carry On' was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 several months before the beginning of the Second World War, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the aftermath of widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities. It had only limited distribution with no public display, and thus was little known. It was rediscovered in 2000, has been re-issued by a number of private companies, and has been used as the decorative theme for a range of products ..."
Now in 2013, there are still wars raging around the globe. But the greatest skirmish we face is a spiritual battle. If we look closely at scripture, one of the messages we could take away for how to live life on a spiritual battlefield would be this:
"Keep calm and mind your own business."
With so many people constantly tethered to some kind of electronic devise, we're not nearly as good at minding our own business as we used to be. In fact, we've greatly expanded our capacity to not only stick our noses into places it shouldn't be, but also to broadcast what isn't our business to others whose business it also isn't. But minding our own business is a very real biblical exhortation for believers ...
"Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others," 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.
It was this issue of minding our own business Jesus alluded to when He taught us this familiar teaching:
"And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, 'Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye'," Luke 6:41-42.
Scripture doesn't say ignore others and focus on self, it says to mind your own business. That does factor in that we are our "brother's keeper," and we have a responsibility to love and serve others. But loving and serving others does not mean butting into their business. Some Christians seem to think they have license to unduly pry into the lives of others if they are helping them. But love is not a license to be a busy-body.
Are you content to live a quiet life, minding your own business? Have you learned how to love and serve others without being a busy-body? If not, perhaps these should be a couple of primary goals for you as we look forward to a new year. In 2014, may you keep calm and mind your own business.