“I’m going to do what I choose to do—what business is it of yours?”
Whether actually spoken or not this seems to be the attitude of many professing believers when they choose to willfully sin against God. My response is, “You made it my business when you trusted Christ as Your Savior and He put you in the same body as me.” What you do affects me. What I do affects you. What we all do affects the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are the body of Christ. Christ is our Head. We all know that when we stub our toe our whole body feels it! To think that as a Christian the way we live doesn’t affect anyone else is faulty thinking. God wants us to learn to get along. He wants us to grow up. And there’s no better place to learn and grow than by being placed in the same body with others who are different than us but who share our propensity for messing up and doing foolish and hurtful things. That’s why the scriptures have so much to say about loving one another and learning to do the hard work of reconciling with each other.
We are intricately united together. It is ignorance to not know this. It is utterly selfish to know this and ignore it. Poet John Donne penned the well known words that describe this reality.
No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. John Donne, Meditation XVII, English clergyman & poet (1572 - 1631)
The sin of Cain was to commit the first murder and kill his own brother. “Where is Abel your brother,” God asked. Cain said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” So soon after sin entered the world could it possibly be that Cain truly thought the Lord Cod didn’t know what he’d done? Sadly, after several millenniums we still do the same. “But,” you say, “I’ve not killed anyone.” Ah, but hear the Lord Jesus say, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell” (Matthew 5:21-22). Oops! It looks like we’re all on the hook!
It is time for all in the body of Christ to grow into the full stature of Christ and take responsibility for our actions. We cannot continue to disdain one another and glibly walk away from our relationships with other believers. And we absolutely must stop thinking that what we do is somehow isolated from everyone else.
The next time you selfishly think that what you do is of no concern to anyone else, or of no consequence to anyone else, think again.