"...They also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention." -1 Timothy 5:13
This Scripture has been on my mind for the past few years, ever since it came to my attention in a women's Bible study. The passage is talking about encouraging young widows to marry again, because otherwise they may fall into idleness since they have no families to care for. This isn't just a problem for young widows, though, is it?
Sometimes we write these "little" sins off as insignificant or don't even realize we are committing them because they are just habits, personality quirks, and ways of life. I would like to look at this from a perspective of not being idle or a gossip/ busybody at any stage of our lives as women who have surrendered to Christ. Because really, we have so much more to aspire to.
Idle. A quick glance through the Bible and it becomes apparent that the Lord does not look favorably on sluggishness. "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat."- 1 Thessalonians 3:10b
Strong language for something that is SO prevalent in our society. Laying around wrapped like a burrito in blankets and wiggling to the fridge for cold Domino's while watching something on your phone is considered "the cool life". Like, really, girls?
I think idleness is an especially strong temptation for those of us between the high school years and the married years. We don't necessarily have a goal with a timeline in mind, so we don't feel the pressure to just "git er done", whatever "er" is., if you even have an "er". We have time in our day to check Instagram once an hour or more. Texting/ scrolling on our phones looks an awful lot like twiddling our thumbs.
Gossips. Murmurings of negativity towards others. Girls love to chat, duh. There are so many accepted forms of gossip that may not seem like we are indulging in it in the moment. Ranting to your girlfriend about how that person just SO grates on your nerves because they do this and this? Gossip. Giving one friend "the look" when another friend's crush walks in the room? Gossip. Sharing a story with your sister that puts someone else in a bad light? Gossip. Laughing about how awkward that poor teen is and ohhh haha did you hear what he said the other day? Gossip. Instead, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."- Ephesians 4:29
Busybodies. I think of Mrs. Rachel Lynde from the Anne books. She lived at the crossroads of town and made it her business to know everyone else's business. In our age of basically no privacy or respect for personal bubbles or property, I'm not sure we even realize how busybody-like we can be since we are immersed in this culture of openness. Isn't that what Facebook is for? Knowing what everyone is doing? Thinking? Who likes who's pictures? I'm pretty sure being "in the know" is never praised as an admirable quality in the Bible. Do I really need to know how my friend's husband's best friend's (who I met once) courtship is going? Or do I just want to know so that if somebody mentions it I'm not left unable to contribute my opinion of the situation? There is a major difference between investing in friendships and inquiring (or stalking), thinking "what's her deal?".
Friends, we have so many better things to be about than idleness, gossiping, and being in-the-know. Don't stoop to the level of dirt-sniffing weasels... we have been given eagle's wings! (Isaiah 40:31)
They say that in order to break a bad habit, you have to replace it with a good one. So, my question for you this wonderful Monday is, what habits could we be cultivating in place of idleness, gossiping, and being a busybody?