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Idle Time

The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh. Ecclesiastes 4:5 (NKJV)

One of the biggest stumbling blocks I have seen within the lives of believers is too much time on their hands.  I am not speaking just of too much time off of work, but too much time off spiritually—not reading our Bibles, or fellowshipping with other believers. Both can have an adverse affect upon our lives. There have been many phrases throughout history speaking of a person having too much idle time. The most quoted is probably, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” but there are others such as, 

· Idle hands are the devil’s tools

· An idle brain is the devil’s workshop

· If the devil finds a man idle, he’ll set him at work

Each of these sayings are speaking of the same principle — If a person doesn’t have something productive to set their minds to, then they will inevitably find something improper to do.  And even though none of these sayings is an actual biblical scripture, the idea they all point to has its roots in Scripture (cf. 1 Tim. 5:13; 2 Thess. 3:10-12).

We can see ample scriptures within Proverbs speaking of those who don’t desire to be physically active, and in fact are lazy (Prov. 10:26, 12:24, 27; 13:4; 15:19; 19:24; 20:4; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30; 26:13-16), and Jesus scolded the servant calling him lazy for burying his one talent in the ground and not having the initiative to go out and invest it.  

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.  So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.” Matthew 25:26 (NKJV)

When we have too much time on our hands physically and spiritually, we can find ourselves either becoming self-absorbed in our own petty discontent, or we might even find ourselves becoming a busybody, getting involved in the lives of others in ways we shouldn’t be getting involved (cf. 1 Tim. 5:13). 

Q: So how can we best utilize our excessive time in the best way?

I think it is important to know we are to be good stewards of the time God has given us, and we should be using it in ways honoring to Him.  Prayerfully reading and studying Scripture can be a great way to understand God’s will for our lives (Rom. 12:2).  Additionally, we need to use some of our time to physically help others. No matter what we do we need to seek the Lord in prayer and then abide in what we know to be right.  As we do we will find our mental attitude becoming healthy and our attitudes will follow.  

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained within this devotional, what can we learn with respect to the principle of simply being lazy?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you using your extra time in ways honoring to God, and beneficial to those around you?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make it your goal to use your time properly, and for the benefit of others, and in a way glorifying to God. 

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, I thank You for guiding me in all things. Help me to utilize my time properly, and to be mindful of being self-absorbed, or to giving too much of my time to unproductive and potentially damaging activities.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Blessings upon your day, Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000