Are you familiar with the English quote, â€œIdle hands are the workshop of the devil?”
This actually originated from the Bible. This popular proverb was in fact taken from Proverbs 16:27. In The Living Bible, it says, â€œIdle hands are the devilâ€™s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.”
From Scriptures, we discover that God disapproves of idleness and His ministers share the same sentiment. In Ephesians 5:15 the Bible exhorts us to make the most of every opportunity. The author of 1Thessalonians (possibly, the apostle Paul) pens helpful advice: â€œ
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12).
1. Idleness results in an unmanaged home.
Ecclesiastes 10:18 says, â€œThrough laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.”
Experience does show that when people neglect to promptly deal with what needs fixing, problems complicate and go from worse to worst.
2. Idle people never amount to anything.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 says, â€œSow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
Itâ€™s in trying that we discover what we can and canâ€™t achieve. Itâ€™s in venturing that we discover what will work and what wonâ€™t. Who and what we become tomorrow starts today.
3. Idleness leads to disruptive behaviour.
Scriptures connect the idle to the disruptive:
- 1Thessalonians 5:14 says, â€œWarn those who are idle and disruptive.”
- 2Thessalonians 3:11,12 says, â€œWe hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people, we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.”
- 2Thessalonians 3:6 warns us to â€œkeep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive.”
- With regards to idle people, the apostle Paul said, â€œBesides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.” (1Timothy 5:13 ).
These passages speak the truth for the idle avoids work; he is lazy. He consumes his time on pointless things. His mind wanders with no purpose. Idleness can and will cause people to become disruptive or to become busybodies. They will start meddling with things that do not concern them.
Idleness is indeed the workshop of the devil. Evil thoughts creep in and evil desires are birthed when one is not busy doing what is needed and constructive. Forbes rightly puts it this way, â€œIndolence is the dry rot of a good mind and a good character; the practical uselessness of both. It is the waste of what might be a happy and useful life.”
Sad yet true, idle living is not living. It is a waste of oneâ€™s life. It is poor stewardship of all that is entrusted to us. Thatâ€™s why no child of God should be idle. May no one call us idle today.
â€œThe art of living is the art of bringing dreams and reality together.” Â – Tom Hodgkinson