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What the Bible says about Idleness
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Proverbs 24:30-34

Many proverbs refer to the deleterious effects of neglect or passivity involving the sluggard as both the perpetrator and recipient of ruin and waste. It is a perennial theme throughout the wisdom literature of the Bible:

» Proverbs 15:19: The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is a highway.

» Proverbs 12:27: The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man's precious possession.

» Ecclesiastes 10:18: Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks.

In each of these examples, destruction, decay, or corruption are shown to be the cumulative effects of neglect. A modest coat of paint will protect metal and wood surfaces from rust, rot, and the ravages of weather. However, doing nothing will cause structures to decay incrementally, looking as though terrorists had intended to destroy them. Who needs bombs and explosives when the same effect can be accomplished by doing absolutely nothing?

David F. Maas
Could You Be a Spiritual Terrorist?

2 Thessalonians 3:8-9

They simply quit working at their jobs! They were just going to wait out the time until Christ returned. What spiritual category would we put them in? How strange and twisted the people's judgment was becoming! They were neglecting their relationship with Christ because they were losing contact with Him. The Spirit of God was diminishing in them, and its influence was just evaporating away.

John W. Ritenbaugh
How to Know We Love Christ

Related Topics: Idleness | Idleness, Habit of


 

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

Commentators believe these brethren stopped working due to misunderstanding the nearness of Christ's return. Nonetheless, they were breaking the pattern of conduct set by Christ Himself and taught by the apostles. Jesus worked right up until He was crucified. Paul calls their conduct unacceptable and serious enough that those brethren who were patiently working should withdraw from those who quit (II Thessalonians 3:6)!

This example contains a practical truth about work that is not mentioned but is helpful to understand. Costs are tied to work, whether it is for the Lord or an employer, and not the least of these is sacrifice on the part of the laborer. Jesus teaches this in Matthew 16:24: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'”

To be an active, producing Christian, Jesus says that, in laboring under and with Him, we must deny ourselves and then take up, carry, or bear up under whatever the cost may be. Thus, sacrifices are involved in Christian responsibilities, as well as in our day-to-day job, but Jesus particularly aims this comment about Christian works at His followers. Denying ourselves is required because the carnal nature is always present and invariably desires to take it easy and do the wrong things through ingrained habit. However, if we give in to this, profit in Christian life diminishes.

This we do not want because, without denying ourselves, life is guaranteed to be a failure. Recall how concerned Solomon was about profit. Life will be profitable if we do the right things, but sometimes, to do so we must literally will ourselves to do what is required. Sacrificing is the only means to accomplish what needs to be done.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Two): Works


Find more Bible verses about Idleness:
Idleness {Nave's}
 




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