Is Minding Our Own Business Biblical?

Is there a difference between mere meddling & having real concern for those we are supposed to love, even to the point of NOT minding our own business?  Perhaps the first place we see this notion of minding our own business comes in early on in the Bible:

Genesis 4:9
And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

As you recall, Cain was using the “minding my own business” line to defend himself, but was Cain supposed to “mind his own business” when it came to the well-being of his brother?

Perhaps the most well-known account of this WRONG philosophy of “minding our own business” comes in the New Testament:

Luke 10:30-37

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

At the end of this passage, Jesus asks, “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” — Worded in our present discussion, it might be phrased, “So which of these three do you think was following the philosophy of ‘minding his own business’ & which loved his neighbor by caring enough for him to NOT mind his own business?”

Some modern examples of the fallacy of the “mind our own business” philosophy are played out when people see another person being beat up or perhaps even sexually assaulted & instead of doing anything about it, they keep on walking — “minding their own business”.

If it is this important to NOT “mind our own business” when it comes to the physical welfare of not only our brothers, but strangers, then what does the Bible say about the notion of “minding our own business” when it comes to our brothers & sisters being harmed spiritually?

Ephesians 5:11
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Does that sound like “minding our own business”?  Christians are in a constant battle with the forces of darkness, unless perhaps you are a hyperpreterist that thinks all things are fulfilled, then you might suppose we no longer have this concern.

Another passage that comes to mind is this one:

Romans 16:17-18

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

We are supposed to NOTE/MARK/NAME those who cause divisions & offenses contrary to the DOCTRINE WHICH [WE] HAVE LEARNED.

Another verse that comes to mind is this one:

1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Providing for your own is not merely making sure they have food, clothing & such, but that you also that you ARE your “brother’s keeper” in looking out for his well-being.  Anyone who does not do this, is to be considered WORSE THAN AN UNBELIEVER. So, we can see the biblical mandate is to NOT “mind our own business” when it comes to the well-being of others & especially of those we love.

The “mind your own business” crowd are those who are the second part of Romans 16:17-18 — they are those serving their own belly, those walking on by, those dividing the community of saints by teaching contrary doctrine, those who say, “we are not our brother’s keeper”.  They are WORSE THAN AN UNBELIEVER & are trying to teach others to be as bad as them.  We end with this verse:

1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

Let us not buy into the evil & unbiblical philosophy that claims we should “mind our own business”.  We are supposed to be the salt & light of the world.  We are not to be lights under bushels, “minding our own business” while evil…even evil calling themselves “Christians” ravage the world & especially the community of saints.  Get invovled.


12 thoughts on “Is Minding Our Own Business Biblical?

  1. Roderick,

    Nice work!

    Despite what others may believe this site is all about looking out for our brother. We do this by warning the sheep the wolves are out to get them. We attempt to identify the wolves and expose their false teachings. As you pointed out it is biblical.

    Theology Today is a community of believers that looks out for others. We also correct each other as well. You haven’t met everyone yet Roderick but you will enjoy it here!

    Welcome aboard Roderick:-)

  2. Nice article, Rod. The trouble with most folks is that they resent any intrusion into their affairs. However, Moses wrote:

    “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke him, and not suffer sin upon him (Lev. 19: 17).

    Christ was fulfilling this very precept when he rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees (see Matt. 23). He loved them enough to tell them where they were headed if they didn’t repent.

    That’s the one element missing from much of today’s “evangelism.” It’ll do any number of things to soften the reproach of sin, but won’t warn sinners where their sins will eventually land them.

    One of these days in the not-too-distant future, many will be wishing that we minded their business a little more than we did.

    Peace & Health,


  3. In regards to this, what if one tells you straight out that they don’t want you in their affairs is one to continue telling them about their sins?

    For instance if you tell someone that they are sinning and they say “leave me alone” shouldn’t that be the end of it, isn’t between them and God at that point?

  4. We are told not to mind our own business but to Judge those of the body. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

    9 Immorality Must Be Judged

    I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person.

    12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

  5. Nice piece!
    It is important to note that even in the local assembly nobody minds his/her business, we are all to love one another. 1John 4:7-8.
    Some acts of love can(should) include: Rebuke, correction, instruction…2Tim 3:16. Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church shows how we should’nt mind our business in the local assembly, Paul said in verse 5 of that chapter(1Corin 5):
    v5 To deliver such an one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (Kjv)
    We see how “delivering him to satan” was a complete act of love, because the result was for the salvation of his soul.
    We are called NOT to mind our business!

  6. Thanks for all the great follow up comments. This is such an important topic, at least in American culture.

    Kenneth asked a very good question:

    “what if one tells you straight out that they don’t want you in their affairs is one to continue telling them about their sins?

    For instance if you tell someone that they are sinning and they say “leave me alone” shouldn’t that be the end of it, isn’t between them and God at that point?”

    How was this kind of thing handled in the Bible? Look at 1 Cor 5 for instance. It looks like this man was having sexual-relations with his step-mother. The Corinthians thought they were being “loving” by not saying anything about it.

    So, to answer your question. If someone was in such a destructive sin OR was teaching a destructive doctrine, especially how either case might adversely affect the community of saints then we ought to remove such a one from our fellowship. If they continue to claim to be BELIEVERS and also continue living in sin or spreading false doctrine, then by all means we MUST continue to point out the issue — which would mean NOT minding our own business. (notice 1 Cor 5:10-11)

    I have less trouble with people who once admonished, forsake calling themselves Christians…not because I’m happy to see them go, but when they do go, at least they are no longer defaming the community of saints. People calling themselves Christians & not behaving or believing like people with regenerated hearts have done more harm than all the world’s atheists & secularists combined. This is another reason we have been so stern against hyperpreterism which is a very, very destructive lie that weasels its way into hearts, minds, & some churches.

    Thanks for the question Kenneth.

    Phil thanks for the welcome & opportunity to share with others. Thanks to everyone for the comments & articles you have been putting forth. Great place.

  7. […] A12 There are a few issues with this idea; (1) ideas & beliefs are hardly EVER held in private but will eventually be publicized & even openly or passively encouraged for other people to believe AND these ideas & beliefs have consequences (recall 911 & the World Trade Center?).  (2)  As Christians, we are supposed to be loving our neighbors & especially our brothers & sisters (people who call themselves Christians even if their beliefs are not quite Christian).  AND to love them means we MUST interact with what they believe EVEN if they tell us to mind our own business (see link). […]

  8. There is a difference between gossiping,or for example snooping into other people’s privacy on their property and minding your own business. Christians are not to mind their own business when there is another Human in need of help and they just walk by them or ignore. There are many other areas in the Bible which the Lord states Christians are not to ignore (mind their own business).

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