Have you ever curled up in bed at the end of the day and wondered if you accomplished anything that day? You continue to suppress that thought as you grab your phone for one more mindless game or one last text with your friends. “Tomorrow will be different,” you say. “I’m going to be productive!” I’ve got to admit; I’m mostly writing this blog post for myself. Recently, I read through 1 Timothy and was struck by Paul’s instruction to young widows. No, I am not a widow by God’s grace, but I believe all women, married or single, can glean wisdom from this passage. Paul encourages younger widows to remarry and then he tells us why.

They (young widows) learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside to Satan…

1 Timothy 5:13-15

Woah! Once we become idle, sin manifests itself in many forms. Women especially seem to be prone to gossip. We love to get together and tear others down as a way to build ourselves up. Ours ears itch to hear the latest news about Rebecca and how she cheated on her husband. Or we want to talk about how Sarah is falling short because she doesn’t feed her kids organic food. If we can surround ourselves with other people who think we are pretty great, we quickly jump at the opportunity. It’s awful, but true. Maybe you think that your harmless, constant chatter isn’t sinful. Be careful. The Bible warns us that “when words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19).

Now, most of us these days don’t literally go from “house to house” in order to gossip. Sadly, our tool of idleness follows us everywhere from the moment we open our eyes to when we go to bed that night. I have to admit I am so guilty of completely wasting time on my phone. I’m not going to say social media is evil and you must completely eliminate it. Perhaps if it has a sinful hold, you should. However, I believe phones and social media are a great tool if we can exercise self- control.

Ask yourself these questions.

  • What is the first thing I pick up in the morning?
  • Do I post on social media for the glory of God?
  • Do I text my girl-friends primarily for their benefit and edification or in order to build myself up?
  • What is my motivation for commenting on that thread that is quite heated already?
  • Do I sit idly and scroll through pointless arguments?
  • Do I “follow” people just to watch them fail?

This is idleness. This, my dear sister, is not how God would want us to use our time. It does not matter if you are single or married; God implores us to use our time wisely. Ephesians 5:15-16 states, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” He goes on to say, “do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (v 17).

Maybe you are wondering what God’s will is. The place to start is by studying His Word. His will is in His Word. A woman who gossips and neglects the Word of God is an easy target for false teaching. Therefore, study to “present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Then, fulfill the responsibilities that God has given you. Wives, invest in your marriage. Moms, disciple your children. Proverbs 31 tells us that a godly woman “looks well to the ways of her household.” Do your children have their basic necessities? Are you instructing them in the ways of the Lord? Are you simply spending time with them so that they know you love and enjoy them or are you constantly staring at your phone? (Talking to myself here).

I do not at all intend to create a sense of legalism regarding our time. The Lord delights in giving His children good things and that includes fellowship, laughter, singing, and rejoicing! Thank Him and praise Him for these wonderful gifts. He is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11). Just remember, there is “a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Certainly there are times to work and times to rest. In all these things, let’s give God the glory.

“Seek to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

This blog was originally posted to Jenna’s personal site: https://thecalltocounsel.wordpress.com/2021/01/16/refusing-idleness/.