What Is A Busybody?
A busybody is someone who, quite simply, sticks their nose in your business. This sort of person feels as if they need to know everything going on around them, including everyone else’s business. Usually someone with a lot of idle time, the busybody attempts to fill that time by prying into the lives of those around them.
A busybody could be a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend, a family member, or some other person who would otherwise be uninterested. If the busybody is a friend or acquaintance, they are likely a gossip looking for goodies to share with others. If a family member, they may be gossips as well, or simply trying to be the one “in control” of the family. These family members are usually someone outside of your immediate family – an aunt, uncle, brother, sister, parent, or parent-in-law. If someone else, such as a neighbor or otherwise uninterested party, likely this busybody is just someone looking to make trouble by exerting false control over the lives of others.
Busybodies are tattletales. That’s why most gossips are also busybodies. More often busybodies are the investigative reporters for the gossips, uncovering the latest dirt on you for the rumor mill. They have to tell someone about whatever it is they saw about you that they did not like. Usually their information is not complete; they did not see the entire situation or conversation they are nosing into, they may not know whatever inside knowledge may be present (inside jokes, slang, behaviors, etc.). And the busybody, quite frankly, doesn’t care. They are quite ready to act upon their incomplete knowledge by exerting the false control they perceive themselves to possess.
You could have a bad day at work, or your kids could be having a bad day and throw a fit in public, or it could even be something as mundane and silly as lingering a couple of days before mowing the yard; these are gold mines for busybodies. They are like peeping toms who sneak around and snoop in your windows.
What Does Scripture Say?
Scripture says that busybodies are idle people who are neglecting their work and go around looking for negative things in the people around them, often to share with others as gossip or to share with an authority figure to make themselves look better (2 Thess. 3:11-12; 1 Tim. 5:13). Busybodies, whether unknowingly or by character, show themselves to be evil-hearted people (Romans 1:28-31). Quite frankly, to be a busybody is to be in sin.
How do we deal with those who are in sin?
First, we must pray for the busybody above all else. Looking first to prayer directly combats the desire in us to respond in a less than loving way. When your first impulse is to tell them off, make some sort of appropriately snarky comment, or complain to your boss; take a full two minutes to pray. Pray for the busybody, yourself, and the situation. Prayer forces you to calm down. It forces you to breathe. It lowers your blood pressure. It helps you to clear your thoughts. Most importantly, prayer will force you to think Jesus’ thoughts about the busybody. And when you behave like Jesus, you can respond with grace and truth. 1 Peter 2:23 especially speaks to the kind of behavior Jesus exhibited – refusing to repay evil with evil. Praying will force you to do that!
After praying, you may actually find that you have no need to give the busybody any further time and energy. This is absolutely fantastic – all you needed to do was pray!
"'Do not go slandering among your people. Do not stand against the blood of your neighbour. I am YHWH." (The ISR Scriptures) - Leviticus 19:16
"Moreover, they learn to be idle, going about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, speaking what is improper." - 1 Timothy 5:13
"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;" - 1 Thessalonians 4:11
"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." - 2 Thessalonians 3:11
"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." - 2 Thessalonians 3:6
"Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." - 2 Thessalonians 3:12
"And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." - 2 Thessalonians 3:14
"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." - 1 Peter 4:15
"A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends." - Proverbs 16:28
"A perverse man sends forth strife, and a whisperer (gossiper) separates intimate friends." - Proverbs 16:28
"The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster." - Proverbs 18:8-9
"The words of a slanderer (gossiper) are like delicacies, and they go down into the inner parts of the heart." Proverbs 18:8
"It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling." - Proverbs 20:3
"Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief." - Proverbs 24:1-2
"The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing." - Proverbs 20:4
"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." - Titus 2:3-5
"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." - Ephesians 4:28-29
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." - 1 Corinthians 11:18-19
"And even as they did not think it worthwhile to possess the knowledge of Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a worthless mind, to do what is improper, having been filled with all unrighteousness, whoring, wickedness, greed, evil; filled with envy, murder, fighting, deceit, evil habits; whisperers (gossipers), slanderers, haters of Elohim, insolent, proud, boasters, devisers of evils, disobedient to parents, without discernment, covenant breakers, unforgiving, ruthless; who though they know the righteousness of Elohim, that those who practice such deserve death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32
"Do not bring a false report. Do not put your hand with the wrong to be a malicious witness. Exodus 23:1
"A man bearing false witness against his neigbour is like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow. Proverbs 25:18
"But refuse the younger widows, for when they become headstrong against the Messiah, they desire to marry, having guilt besouse they set aside their first belief. Moreover they learn to be idle, going about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, speaking what is improper. 1 Timothy 5:11-13
"For we hear of some among you walking disorderly, not working at all, but are busybodies. But we command and urge such, through our Master Yahushua Messiah, to settle down, work and eat their own bread. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12
"He who goes about as a slanderer (gossiper), reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with him who speaks smoothly with his lips. Proverbs 20:19
"A slanderer is a revealer of secrets, but one with a trustworthy spirit conceals a matter. Proverbs 11:13
"Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for the use of building up, so as to impart what is pleasant to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29
Things to remember about gossip:
Gossip is as sinful as murder and will suffer the same consequences there is repentance. Romans 1:32
Yahuwah holds you accountable to your words. Matthew 12:36-37 "And I say to you that for every idle word men speak, they shall give an account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be declared righteous, and by your words you shall be declared unrighteous". Matthew 12:36-37 So be careful what you say.
The person who gossips to you about others also gossips to others about you.
Gossip and slander disqualifies persons for spiritual leadership. 1 Timothy 3:1,11 James 3:1-2 Trustworthy is the word: If a man longs for the position of an overseer, he desires a good work. Wives in the same way: reverent, not false accusers, sober, trustworthy in every way. 1 Timothy 3:1,11 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment. For we all stumble in many matters. If anyone does not stumble in the word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the entire body. James 3:1-2
Gossip often masks as pretentious concerns for others.
Gossip often thrives upon secrecy. Where secrecy is removed, gossip is hampered.
Gossip always contributes to a problem and never a solution.
Gossip always distorts and exaggerates, and is never a reliable source of truth.
Those who gossip and slander are not right in fellowship with Yahuwah. And even as they did not think it worthwhile to possess the knowledge of Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a worthless mind, to do what is improper, having been filled with all unrighteousness, whoring, wickedness, greed, evil; filled with envy, murder, fighting, deceit, evil habits; whisperers (gossipers), slanderers, haters of Elohim, insolent, proud, boasters, devisers of evils, disobedient to parents, without discernment, covenant breakers, unforgiving, ruthless; who though they know the righteousness of Elohim, that those who practice such deserve death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32
Those who gossip rarely get answers to prayer, and often face persistent, unexplainable problems. Psalms 66:18 Proverbs 6:12-13, 21:23 If I had seen wickedness in my heart, Yahuwah, would not hear. Psalms 66:18 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue guards his life from distresses. Proverbs 21:23
What to do about gossip:
If you have been a gossiper, confess this as a sin and ask Messiah to forgive you. Repent by turning to a new direction and surrendering your tongue to Messiah, not to gossip or bad mouth again. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Keep your nose out of other peoples business.
If you can't say something good or encouraging about others, then keep your mouth shut. Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for the use of building up, so as to impart what is pleasant to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29
Never criticize another person, except to their own face with an intent to help. Criticism can never be constructive if expressed to anyone else.
If your friends start bad mouthing others to you, stop them in their tracks, refuse to be a partaker in their sins. Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for the use of building up, so as to impart what is pleasant to the hearers. 1 Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in the sins of others. Keep yourself clean. 1 Timothy 5:22