Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Bread of Idleness

I know it's been a while since I shared something with you from my study on A Woman After God's Own Heart, but the truth is, over the last couple weeks, I haven't been doing that study much, as I was just doing some great reading in God's word and a lot of writing in my Prayer Journal. But today I went back to my study. Of course, not even a full minute went by before the Lord was taking me deep inside my heart to take take an honest look at myself.

The chapter I am on is A Heart That Watches Over The Home. Proverbs 14:23 says, "In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury." (Penury = Extreme poverty or destitution)

There is profit in labour.

Proverbs 31:27 says, "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."

The Proverbs 31 woman, does not eat the bread of idleness.

From these two verses, we gather 2 very important pieces of wisdom, that go together. If there is profit in labour, than what is there in idleness? Nothing. Nothing at all. Think about it, what does our attitude become when we are idle? I know for me, I get a little miserable, and I have a pretty bad attitude toward everything and everyone around me. Sometimes it only shows itself in the most subtle of ways, but at other times, it is not so subtle.

In the chapter of Elizabeth George's book that I was studying today, she talks about how she applied this to her life, and is always busy, doing something, all day long. Yes, she would give herself time for a break, but she always knew what she was doing thereafter. One thing that really spoke to me, was how she said that when her girls were young, she worked hard to instill that principle in them. For example, they didn't watch TV unless they were doing something productive at the same time.

As I reflected on all the thoughts that came rushing to my mind, I remembered a time when I was always doing knitting or crocheting when I was watching something (I would even take it to the movie theater with me), because I could not justify spending a couple hours or so just sitting doing nothing, when I knew I could find something to do. I'm sorry to say that I've lost that principle, and I intend to get it back!

Elizabeth mentioned that as a result of the above, none of them derived much pleasure from watching TV. They could take it or leave it. That is how it should be. The TV is just an entertainment "gimmick" to keep us lazy, eating from the bread of idleness. As Christians, there is so much more to our lives. We have so much to live for, in Christ. We should not be able to be entertained by the TV for hours, doing nothing, without feeling very guilty. There is NO profit in idleness!!!!! This post is not all about the TV, that is just an example, and one that is very dominant in our culture. How many people do you know who have their TV on all day, and whenever their kids start to get in their way, they tell them to go watch a show or something? I know more than I should.

In addition to focusing on the fact that there is profit in labour (even if we don't always see it), we need to be working on eliminating idleness. I would like to share with you a list of "time robbers" that Elizabeth shared in her book:

  • Procrastination

  • Inadequate personal planning and scheduling

  • Interruptions by people without appointment (This includes interruptions by way of the telephone. And please note, your children are not interruptions - they are your greatest work and the best investment of your time)

  • Failure to delegate

  • Poor use of the telephone

  • Reading junk mail

  • Lack of concern for good time management

  • Unclear priorities

I encourage you, along with myself, to take a few minutes and examine areas in your daily life where there is idleness. Then, work on eliminating them. And remember, to trully eliminate something, even just to begin working on it, we must first take it to the Lord.


Seven Sisters said...

This is a great post, Kelley! Thank you for posting about what you've been learning...
it was encouraging and a good thing for me to read right now! I could definitely work on some areas of idleness in my life!

Love and miss you!


Anonymous said...

Well said!

(truly is spelt with 1 "l" not 2)