Idleness is an issue that I felt the Lord deeply impressing upon my heart as to the gravity and severity of this malady as it pertains to its effect upon the Church.
But before we take a deeper look at idleness, we need to first understand what it means and adjust our perspective on what constitutes idleness so that we can better understand this problem: Idleness is akin to “being bored” and means to be aimless, lazy, and/or inactive. It’s a state of being that you cannot be forced into; rather, it’s a state of being in which you allow yourself to be consumed by with things that distract you from you aim.
A man whose aim is to be financially successful would be considered “idle” if he sat around and watched TV all day because he has set his aim on something that his current conduct is not benefiting. Likewise, as men and women of God, we have a stewardship from God that we are responsible for.
The paradigm shift that we need to make in how we view idleness within the Church is that we are quick to say that a man who sits around all day unemployed is idle, but we think that a man who works 120 hour weeks is not idle: the problem is that this common view forgets that the man who is working 120 hours weeks is probably equally idle as it pertains to the Kingdom of God.
Idleness is not a situation that you can be forced into: even if you have been laid off work, idleness is something that you only succumb to when you allow yourself to be preoccupied with activities that distract you from your aim in Christ.
Each part of the body of Christ has his or her own job.
To the Church, the effects of idleness for any one part of the body are particularly dangerous; look at what the scripture says of the watchmen who became idle,
“His watchmen are blind, all of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; yes, they are greedy dogs which never have enough. And they are shepherds who cannot understand; they all look to his own gain, from his own territory. ‘Come,’ one says, ‘I will bring wine, and we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; tomorrow will be as today, and much more abundant.’” Isaiah 56:10-12
The watchmen were lazy and did not keep watch; they slept when they should have been awake! They are revelers filled with intoxicating drink. And such are many today, even many who should have been watchmen on the walls, who are filled and intoxicated by the harlots wine! The effect of which is that our watchmen are like mute dogs, greedy for their own gain, and foolish in saying “tomorrow will be prosperity”!
It seems that so many men are sick from idleness, being almost paralyzed by its affects, many seem to wander from distraction to distraction in a perpetual daze that just can’t seem to be shaken.
Because husbands and fathers are sitting idle, the homes are being ravaged and destroyed, and sin finds a nurturing rest in our very own living rooms! Men seem content to let other men “teach” their families while they revel aimlessly with their “bros”, watching games and movies, and acting like brute beasts fit only for destruction! While our backs are turned to our families playing games online and watching football, the enemy sneaked into our homes, deceived our wives, polluted our children, and erected a powerful idol smack dab in the center of our living-room that, by the time some husbands turn around and realize what has happened, they are afraid to try and tear it down!
I pray to God the young men of this generation would wake up and sober their minds!
This is my exhortation:
14Therefore He says:“Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
15See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21submitting to one another in the fear of God.~Ephesians 5:14-21
We must awake from the slumber many of us have been in; stand up, perceive the light of Christ, and see to it that we walk circumspectly (the opposite of being idle and aimless in our conduct).
Grace and mercy and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ to all the brethren, Amen!