mind your own business

As another school starts I have fond memories of when one of my part time jobs was kindergarten aide at the small Christian school. There is nothing better than kindergarteners. They are a panic. They are so funny, smart and eager to learn. The smallest thing can make a biggest impression on them. It is easy to “wow” a kindergartener.

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

However, you quickly learn why God made them cute because they can totally frustrate you and then in the next moment melt your heart. But one thing kindergarteners did that made me crazy was tattle on each other.  For a moment, imagine you can hear the whining, see the pointing of little fingers and the dropped lips of pouty faces. I wonder if I ever sound like that.

The amazing woman I taught with announced one day “did you know mind your own business is in the Bible?” Her pastor had preached on 1 Thessalonians 4. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 became our go to verse.

“Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.  And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thess. 4:9-12 NIV

The perfect response for tattling – lead a quiet life, mind your own business and work with your hands. Of course if you are in danger or a friend is in danger that isn’t tattling but a lot of chatter in kindergarten is tattling. Unfortunately I think quiet a bit of chatter in life is tattling if not to the teacher to God and his response is:

“Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 The Message

I find the tricky thing is some of my best intentions are times when I should have minded my own business. I need remember to do my job and not someone else’s job. I think I have stolen blessings from people because I did what they should have done. I am grateful God gives us his word and guidance each day.

“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first workd you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”
? Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

2 thoughts on “mind your own business

  1. Laurie

    My firstborn grandchild started kindergarten this year, and loving it! You are right about tattling, it’s not just a childlike behavior, adults have the same childlike behavior but it’s disguised by another word: gossip.

  2. Iris

    You are right; tattling is not a good thing, especially as an adult. Thank you for the reminder to mind our own business. And if someone needs help or asks for advice, I am eager to help.

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