Idle Hands and Opportunity to Sin

Too much time on your hands? Idleness is warned against in the scriptures. Not only does it cause us to be unproductive, it also opens the door to sinful activity.

Consider the lesson in Luke 11:24-26. In this, Jesus gives an example of an unclean spirit being cast out of a man, only to find no rest and return to the man finding his old home “swept and garnished.” He then invites seven spirits more wicked than himself and the man is worse AFTER than he was BEFORE.

The moral of the story is not to leave our personal lives swept and garnished. Rather, fill them with wholesome activity. Busy men lack time to sin. Idle hands really can be the Devil’s workshop.


Ecclesiastes 10:18, By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

Idleness leads to unproductive lives. The virtuous woman “ate not the bread of idleness” and was a success (Proverbs 31:27). Her life was full of service to her family and to her God.

Ezekiel 16:49, Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

One of the many sins of Sodom (Genesis 18-19) was idleness.

Luke 11:24-26 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Don’t just turn from sin. Replace sin in your life with wholesome activities so wickedness can’t get a foothold in the void!

Originally Published March 2014

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