The Third Commandment

He who tastes every man's broth sometimes burns his own mouth.

(Danish Proverb)

The religious leaders in Jerusalem approached Jesus and asked this question, “What is the greatest commandment?” Without a moment’s hesitation Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:5, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Then he recited Leviticus 19:18, “And the second greatest commandment—you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” “There is no other commandment greater than these,” he declared.


Sometime later, right before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave us the third greatest commandment. John, Peter and Jesus were together shortly after Christ had been raised from the dead. The Lord said to Peter, “Listen to Me, when you were younger you made your own choices and you went where you pleased. But one day when you are old, others will tie you up and escort you where you would not choose to go—and you will spread out your arms” (John 21:18-21). Jesus was describing Peter’s death—he was going to die by crucifixion. Then Peter saw John and asked the Lord, "What is going to happen to Him?” Pay particular attention to Christ’s responce as I have paraphrased it, "Peter, you've got enough problems of your own—don’t worry about John. You mind your own business. Take care of the work that I've given you and let me take care of John."


What a lesson! So often we become focused on what other people are doing, or failing to do, and neglect to take care of ourselves. “This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work, just as we told you before” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 Living Bible). Satan is forever attempting to distract us from our priorities. One of his favorite tactics is causing us to become so absorbed in the business of others that we fail to mind our own. Do not waste your precious time idly assessing the performance of those around you. “If everybody minded their own business the world would go round a great deal faster than it does” (The Duchess in Alice of Wonderland).

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