Foundation 4 – Stay Busy

(Prov 31:27)  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

(Eccl 10:18)  By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

Staying busy is very important for someone that is trying to rebuild their life.  If someone is not busy they will face many temptations which could lead them back to their addictions.  They may experience depression, lack of motivation and frustration.

Besides all of this, there is much reward in productivity.  The Bible says in Ephesians 5:16, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”  This basically means that we should make the most out of our time.  When we use our time wisely, we not only accomplish important tasks but we also eliminate many temptations.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why staying busy is so important:

  1. “Staying busy” will eliminate a lot of temptation.

If we fill up our schedule, there would not be room for other things.  People normally fall back into addictions when there is no plan, no purpose – just waiting and wandering.  Idleness is the workshop of the devil.  If we have somewhere to be, someone to meet or something to accomplish then we have already eliminated a host of other things that we can be doing with our time.  A busy schedule will take away the possibility to make a wrong choice or to give in to an addiction or anything negative. This is exactly what happened to King David in 2 Samuel 11:1 where the Bible says: “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”  When David “tarried still” he had time to walk around on the roof of the castle.  While he was walking he saw a woman taking a bath.  He lusted after her and then sent for her.  He ended up committing adultery and then murder.  David ended up committing the worst of sins and it all began with idleness.

  1. Staying busy is one of the keys to happiness.

We sometimes think that relaxation and idle time will make us happy but this is only true for busy people who need some time off.  Those that are lazy and don’t do much are open for depression and every evil work.  To quote John Stossel of ABC News: “One myth about happiness is that we’d be happy if we just had more leisure, more time to relax, to watch TV, perhaps. No way, say the experts.  Inactivity is a curse. Happiness comes when we test our skills through some meaningful activity.”  Professor Myers goes on to present data suggesting that working people are happier than those who don’t work.  This can be done through paid employment, volunteer work, ministry, housework, child-rearing or through numerous meaningful work activities.

  1. We can support our self by “being busy” or working.

In all societies it takes work to survive.  You must either hunt, farm, fish or trade for the things you need.  There should not be a “free ride” for anyone.  Everyone must work to support themselves.  For someone to be content to live off of the “system,” while being unproductive, is a violation of Biblical principle.  There are some situations where people legitimately need assistance, but this does not mean that they should be lazy.  It means that they are doing what they can but they just need some help to make up the difference for whatever is lacking.

(Prov 16:26)  He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

(Prov 14:23)  In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

(2 Th 3:11)  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

  1. God desires for us to work, because work is good.

From the very beginning it was God’s intention that we work.  Work is not a part of the “curse.”  There was work to be done before Adam fell into sin: he had to name the animals, he had to take care of the garden and make sure it produced.  There will also be work in heaven after the curse is lifted (Revelation 22:3 “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him”).  Work is not bad and is not a part of the curse, but rather work is good!

  1. Staying busy will bring forth opportunities.

When someone is working or volunteering somewhere, there is a possibility that someone could notice them and offer them a job.  It will also give them references for when they do apply for a job.  Someone with good references is more likely to be hired than a person with no references.  Opportunities will knock more often for someone that is busy rather than for someone that is not busy.

  1. Staying busy will allow us to help people

It will take time and energy for us to help others.  Only a busy person can meet the needs of those that need help.  We can help with spiritual needs, financial needs, parties, activities, cleaning yards, fixing cars, cleaning and a whole lot of other things.  It will cost us something to serve people, but serving people will bring fulfillment in our life.

  1. Staying busy will allow us to serve God.

It is very important for us to serve God.  One of the ways we can stay busy is by helping in the church.  We could help with cleaning the yard, cleaning the church, folding tracts or other things.  When we start being faithful in the little things, other opportunities in the church will open up.  Serving God will not only occupy our time and our mind, but it will give us a sense of purpose.  God designed us to serve Him and when we serve Him we will be fulfilling our purpose in life and we will be making a difference for eternity.  There is no greater feeling of satisfaction then to be doing what God designed us to do.

What can happen as a result of too much idle time?

  1. Depression – When there is a lot of idle time there is a lot of time to think and this can lead to depression.You can be focusing on everything that needs to be done while you are not doing anything about it; this could cause you to feel defeated.  You can be thinking of all of your problems and all those who wronged you, but if you are busy you will be focusing on other things and you will not be able to dwell on all the negatives.
  1. Temptation – When people have too much time on their hands they usually get bored and they want to do something.Many times the things they end up doing are “bad” for them.  The devil will be sure to find something for you to do when you are bored!
  1. Laziness – When someone does not have anything to do, most likely they will end up lounging around, watching T.V. and doing nothing.This is physically, mentally and spiritually unhealthy.  We are made to be productive, not lazy.

Prov. 24:30-34  I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;  31  And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.  32  Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.  33  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  34  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.   

  1. Lack of Discipline – An idle person will normally stay up late, wake up late, watch a lot of T.V., play video games, sleep a lot during the day, eat junk food, spend hours in front of a computer to either surf the web, or to go into chat rooms.An idle person does not have a schedule and they basically just go with the flow.  They struggle to stay clean and sober, they are normally depressed, their house, room or car is usually messy, they are unhealthy and do not accomplish much – they just exist.

To overcome idleness and to stay busy the first thing a person needs to do is get busy by serving God.  Start by reading your Bible, praying and attending church and church functions.  This will keep you busy right away.  The next thing you need to do is find a job.  Do not worry about how much you will get paid, just find a job and “stay busy.”  If you cannot find a job right away, volunteer your time at church, a hospital or somewhere that you can “stay busy.”  To “stay busy” is not hard to do and everyone can do it!  To “stay busy” is a vital part of rebuilding your life on Jesus Christ!

Questions:

  1. If someone is not busy they will face many t_____________________.
  1. People normally fall back into addictions when there is no plan, no purpose – just w_____________________ and w____________________.
  1. Staying busy is one of the keys to h________________________.
  1. Staying busy will eliminate many t________________________.
  1. Staying busy will open o_________________________.
  1. What can happen if a person has to much idle time?
  1. ________________________
  2. ________________________
  3. ________________________
  4. ________________________
  1. What are some things someone can do in order to overcome idleness?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Memory Verse:  Proverbs 19:15“ Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger..”

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