In 2 Thessalonians 3:11 busybody in the Greek (G4020) is periergazomai meaning one who bustles about uselessly busying one's self about in trifling useless matters; used to describe a person inquisitive about the affairs of others.
You may be asking, What's the big deal? Some people are naturally curious. Well, it's a pretty big deal to God. Unsolicited intrusion, prying, and snooping into the affairs of others can cause serious damage. Consider the following:
Effects of Unsolicited Meddling/Prying
1. Weakens/destroys relationships
2. Violates trust and confidence
3. Suggests perceived inadequacy or inability in another
4. Insults and offends the recipient
5. May constrict, hinders or retard growth in another
How to Deal with a Busybody
1. Set/establish boundaries
2. Change the subject or conversation
3. Try not to take the meddling personally--this is the busybody's "way" or style of relating with most people
4. Give simple, but direct responses like, "I'm sorry but that is personal" or "That is none of your business".
5. Evaluate your involvement. Are you talking too much or divulging too much information? This invites more intrusion.
If You are the Busybody
1. Consider why you are prying.
2. Examine your heart. Identify your motives for snooping.
3. Avoid asking probing, intrusive questions--even if you are prone to curiosity.
4. Exercise verbal restraint.
5. Employ the help of Holy Spirit
6. Give people space to learn and grow.
7. Afford others the opportunity to ask for help--don't just assume your help is desired
I remember as a child hearing "old school" apply a creed for living:
"I got six months to mind my own business and six months to leave yours alone. I ain't heard nothin' and I ain't seen nothin', 'cause I got six months to mind my own business and six months to leave yours alone!"
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Also, click on the button below to read our article on another challenging personality, "The Know It All".