I Peter 4: 15-16.
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.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
“If you’re going to suffer, do it for the right reasons,” Peter said. We are not to suffer for wrongdoing, because we are not to be guilty of wrongdoing.
Verse 15 has an interesting list of sins we are to avoid: Murder, theft, evildoing, and being a busybody in other men’s business.
Murder and theft need no explanation. Evildoing, however, covers a wide area. Each of us must search our own hearts, and ask God to search our hearts and reveal to us our guilt for doing that which is evil. Psalm 139: 23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Of special interest to me is the word wicked in v. 25. The strict translation from the Greek is worry, pain or anger:—displease, grieve, hurt, make, be sorry, vex, worship, wrest.
Worry. Anxiety, pain, anger, being displeased, grieved, hurt, vexed, or idolatrous. That list certainly speaks to me! Rarely do we consider worry as sin. In fact, we tend to think that being worried just shows how much we care, and we consider it a virtue. But God says we are to cast ALL our cares on Him (I Peter 5:7). We are to fret not because of evildoers (Psalm 37:1).
And then there is that final word, busybody. According to Strong’s numbers, a busybody in other men’s affairs is one who one “takes the supervision of affairs pertaining to others and in no wise to himself, a meddler in other men’s affairs.” He is a person who takes charge of something that is none of his business. He ranks right up there with murderers, thieves, and evildoers of all sorts.
Christians should never be rightfully accused of such behaviors. If we are to suffer, it should be in the Name of Jesus, and for His glory.