Idle Words, Idle Hands

Blindness series #3

“Idle Hands are the work of the Devil”old saying from medieval times

This saying is kind of intense because of the fact it is straightforward but as I thought about it all day I began to think of what true idleness is and what it can do in one’s life. Idleness is mentioned many times in the Bible. Mostly in proverbs where the word “idle” is used on multiple occasions. Have you ever thought of the reason that God but a strong focus on idleness in the wisest book in the Bible? I think because abstaining from idleness can be the very thing that keeps you going, drives you, makes you a useful messenger of the gospel; passion erupts and sets you apart from the world. All because you decided to go help your new neighbor move in instead of sitting in your room rotting in front of the computer screen. Idleness doesn’t always mean laziness but on a deeper level in means meaningless, senseless, ineffective and unavailing.

Proverbs 10:4-5 “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.” (NLT Tyndale)

At first glance anybody would only see this verse as irrelevant and ineffective. In truth, this verse holds a meaning that can truly awaken a dry ineffective soul. I think this is completely relevent to our time. When I saw this verse I immediately thought of when Jesus was speaking to the disciples after they had seen him speaking to the woman at the well. In John chapter 4 verses 35-36 Jesus explains to them that in doing God’s work there is no waiting and he says “But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.” and he goes on the say that what the harvesters are harvesting are “people brought for eternal life” Later on Jesus says that he has called us to harvest what he has already planted. This passage in John and the verse in proverbs have such a parallel meaning. When you tie them together it basically says that if you do not take the initiative and reach out in God’s love with a goal of bringing them to the Lord, your work will be idle; you didn’t take the opportunity now so now you lost it.

Proverbs 12:24 “Work hard and become a leader, be lazy and become a slave.” (NLT Tyndale)

This holds a strong meaning for this generation. This translation I have says lazy but now I am starting to think of the words lazy and idle as the same in this case. When I think of great leaders in history, I know that they didn’t get to their notoriety by sitting on the couch all day. They got up and did something, but not just anything. They did things that made a difference, brought attention, which made their passion spread like wildfire. We all can be this kind of leader. A leader is not made by the amount of people who follow but the impact made in each of the followers’ hearts. Many of us feel we don’t have that “leader” quality so we shy away from rising up and doing things that will stand out. In other words, we do idle things that don’t make any impact and instead blend in with the world. Leaders are really the ones that lead others to Christ through His love. In the second half of this verse it mentions slavery. This can be a physical bond but also a spiritual bond that results from idle actions and words. If we do not rise up to lead others in God’s love and truth we will simply fall into the idle,meaningless motions of this world and become a slave to these motions. Thats what is a major bondage creator: doing ineffective, causeless things.

Proverbs 28:19 “A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.” (NLT Tyndale)

God’s word is amazing and I love when it does its work and penetrates a specific meaning straight to my spirit. This verse I had to read it over a few times before I could see what this meant on a spiritual level. It mentions that the hard worker has plenty, when I thought of this in a spiritual sense I began to see that a person who is devoted to seeking and learning more and more about God does have plenty; plenty of passion, favor and other things that help him have a wonderful life full of God’s love and meaning. In the second part the verse mentions how if one chases fantasies they will end up empty-handed. From this I immediately paralleled these “fantasies” to our human desires that are separate from the plans of God. These things can be idle and pointless and if we follow them we will only lose what little joy we have and become empty. The only cure for this spiritual “poverty” is that we began to do things that will help further our relationship with the Almighty, masterful God.

Idle words and idle hands only lead to a life that does not achieve the calling God gave all of us. We either sit at home and doing meaningless things or are out all the time doing meaningless things. Idle cannot always be reflected as physically lazy, because you can be completely busy and involved in your church but still living a spiritually idle life. God’s task he laid out for us goes undone. An evangelist, Darla Lassiter, once spoke on how idle words bring neither life nor death. They do not carry out the will of God and continually push back his plans into non-existence. God has a better life for us. A life full of purpose where every day you can wake up knowing that day will be a new wonderful day because God will make it that way. When we do things that are driven by God’s love and inspiration it almost makes it impossible for us to sink into Satan’s idle whirlpool that leads nowhere. God is calling us all to wake up and see that the harvest is ready! He is calling us to live a set-apart life that shines so all can see the love of God.* “Wake, wake oh sleeper He’s coming…prepare the way” .

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they receivedfrom us…we gave you this command: ‘Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.’ ” 2 Thessalonions 3:6,10 (NLT Tyndale)

* excerpt from People Get Ready by Misty Edwards


One thought on “Idle Words, Idle Hands

  1. I love how these exact words have been racing through my head for weeks upon a time and recently Misty Edwards “People Get Ready” “I can hear drums coming from the Tribe of Judah”

    Thank you Bethany for this new blog post it really emphasizes what alot of us go through at times, for we often think. “I’m so bored, theres nothing to do” Yet its because we are idling but if one puts there laziness past oneself and then actually puts their hands to work for the Lord, many things will be achieved instead of having braincells wear out from indulging many of life’s problems. “Inactive Entertainment” Haha 🙂

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