Thursday, January 3, 2008

Idleness or Diligence? - Part 1

I’m sure that we have all had those days . . . days where we feel uninspired and tired . . . where we cannot get motivated to do anything. We’d like to simply curl up with a good book and read the day away (or sleep it away!). During those times it is so easy to slip into idleness. Scripture though shows what a godly woman should be doing with her time. “She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27.

Household is generally thought of as one’s own personal family, whether you are living at home with your parents and siblings, or if you are married with a family of your own. These are our ‘physical’ family. We also have a spiritual family. “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:10. That is, our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

So this godly woman is looking well to, or caring well for, the ways of her household. Firstly she serves her physical family. She cares for their physical needs (clothing, food, peaceful and clean house, etc.) and their spiritual needs (exhortation, council, teaching, love, prayer, etc). She then branches outward to her spiritual family.

Idleness presents a stark contrast to the above. It is to have an aversion for labor; a reluctance to be employed or to have exertion either of body or mind; it is to be lazy, slothful and sluggish. Idleness is often the effect of laziness. Thus if we let ourselves begin down the path of laziness, the destructive quality of idleness will develop. But, if we keep taking little steps in laboring for and serving others, it is amazing how much we can accomplish and in the end, how much better we feel.

This does not at all mean that we are not to have times of rest and relaxation. Our bodies, minds and spirits need this rest. Nor does it mean that when we are ill or incapable of laboring, that we should not rest or take it easy. But, what it does mean is that if when we have other tasks and duties that need to be tended to, and we are physically capable, we should conquer our feelings of laziness and tend to what needs to be done. Instead of looking to our own comfort and needs, we must look to the needs of others first. We should be looking well to the ways of our household.

To be continued . . .

-Posted by Sarah

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