They are their business, they are God’s business

I’m fascinated by the way quotes lead to quotes, books to lead to books and back again.

Did you read the last post here, the quote from Elsie Kitching about Charlotte Mason’s respect for other people’s wills? According to Kitching, Mason somehow had no urge to “fix people,” including her student teachers. She was intelligent, educated, and older than they were; but she never liked, as she said, “to play Sir Oracle.” We can assume this perspective applied to children as well, since her first principle was that they were “born persons.” She referred many times to the work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives, that the Spirit of God directed every part of education and that it was not for us to meddle with that.

Recently I read Jan Karon’s new Mitford novel, Come Rain or Come Shine, and she quoted this passage from Frederick Buechner’s Telling Secrets:.

“Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you . . . remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business . . . even your own life is not your business. It also is God’s business. Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life-transforming thought . . . ”

We don’t have to be anxious because we can’t manage other people’s lives for them. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care, don’t love; it means that we respect their right to be persons before God.

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