"An idle mind is the devil's workshop." That's what was said in my youth as we sat around in the summer, somedays doing nothing. It was said with a rhythmic southern tone, almost like a reverential tone intended for worship in a tent revival. Not that I've ever been to one mind you, but still, it came from my friends' moms or maybe even my own when they wanted us to be active but the heat of the day and the humidity in Houston could zap the strength from a piece of steel.
Is, however, an idle mind the devil's workshop? I've hardly been able to ever keep my own mind from being idle. It's either focused and working on a task, or it is in a separate gear trying to create and thinking, planning, plotting, or scheming. It's probably those last two that are more in line with Satan's delights. Plotting and scheming. Deciding to take care of things on my own terms, I seek my own way. I plot and scheme to change the outcome.
Paul says this, "Now, we command you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.... For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Chris to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.... If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him in order that he may be ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother." (2 Thessalonians 3) That's an interesting command from Paul, who as the study bible notes speaks with "apostolic authority." In Galatians 5, Paul provides a list of sins that are "works of the flesh," and in 2 Thessalonians, he puts being a "busybody" in the same category and our brothers in the faith are to act accordingly. To separate themselves from him. All that for being idle and for being a busybody.
When does my nose get put in a place where it doesn't belong? When does yours? Like other works of the flesh, we should discourage these kinds of behaviors, and as Paul notes in 2 Thessalonians to "encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do (our) their work quietly...."
We seek forgiveness when our minds wander to places they shouldn't, when we take the 8th commandment and break it. We pray that our minds are on Christ Jesus, and we ask that our work be done to glorify Him and Him alone.
Hope Men's Ministry