10 Bible Verses About Idleness

How to Flee Idleness

Idleness comes from having lots of time and nothing to do.

An idle mind becomes fertile ground for the enemy to plant his evil thoughts. It is possible to flee from idleness and keep yourself occupied with meaningful activities.

The apostle Paul admonished those in Thessalonica against idleness and said he had to work to give them an example to follow (2 Thessalonians 3:3-15).

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The idlers were those who were jobless as he insisted that people should work to avoid being a burden to others. This means lack of work causes idleness.  

God created each of us with the ability to produce wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) and this means we can always find something to do when unemployed or having lots of free time.

You have gifts and talents you can use to be of service to others or engage in remote work on the internet if you have a stable internet connection.

King David gave in to idleness when kings went out to war. He was on his rooftop when he saw Bathsheba bathing and ended up committing adultery with her (2 Samuel 11:1-5).

Instead of keeping himself busy by going to war, he found himself on the devil’s path.  

Idleness will cause you to spend hours watching TV which will not add value to your life. Read a book or learn a new skill. Have a purpose for how you will spend your free time.

Ask God how you can occupy yourself during your free time to avoid temptations to do evil.  

Do Away with Idleness

Proverbs 10:4-5

He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth.  He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame.

Are the dishes piled up in the sink? Perhaps the yard is overgrown and hasn’t been mowed. Even worse, do you have trouble keeping a job? If you are struggling with a lack of motivation, God is ready to recharge you and get you back on track.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Couch potatoes beware! Laying around only packs on the pounds. God designed you to be active and healthy. We should be on guard against the temptation to sit and do nothing because that temptation will hinder your health. Your body is a holy temple and should be treated as such.

Proverbs 16:27-29

A worthless man devises mischief. His speech is like a scorching fire. A perverse man stirs up strife. A whisperer separates close friends.
A man of violence entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good

“Watercooler chat” is a term relative to the work environment where one spends more time gossiping than working. Our body, mind, and speech should glorify God and be edifying to those around us.

1 Timothy 5:13

Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.

God desires us to fellowship with others, so we are not alone. However, those who are not spending their time wisely or productively may be tempted to use the fellowship as a way to gossip. Staying busy prevents our minds, mouths, and heart from wandering.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: “If anyone is not willing to work, don’t let him eat.” For we hear of some who walk among you in rebellion, who don’t work at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are that way, we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they work with quietness and eat their own bread.

Sadly, there are people in this world that refuse to work yet expect to be provided for. Would we expect a paycheck from our employer for doing nothing? No, because it’s wrong. We are to have a joyful attitude towards work because through our labor, we glorify and honor God.

Ecclesiastes 10:18

By slothfulness the roof sinks in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

Can you imagine if we never lifted a finger to work? The conditions we would be forced to live in from lack of an income would be deplorable. When we don’t feel like working on our spiritual life, the condition of our heart becomes just as deplorable.

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

When we “take up the cross” as a believer, we are to be actively laboring and sacrificing just as Christ did. We have a responsibility to avoid the temptation of lounging around when there are things to be done. We are to work and earn an income.

Proverbs 12:27

The slothful man doesn’t roast his game, but the possessions of diligent men are prized.

Working hard to pay for something makes it all the more sweeter when you get it. Your value of the reward is far greater. Someone who works 2 years to buy a used car takes greater care of that car than the unemployed person who was given a brand new car. 

Proverbs 31:27

She looks well to the ways of her household, and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.

The woman who is industrious to contribute towards the household income delights the Lord. It’s incredible how creative stay-at-home-moms earn money through blogging, sewing, ironing, childcare, and more. No one is too busy to earn their way.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

As believers, we know that we may toil in labor here on earth, but our Father will give us a place of rest in His kingdom.

No longer will we have to worry about being late for work, being laid off, or where the next paycheck will come from.

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