Filed under Biblical Womanhood Living Intentionally Series Current Series
“Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.” 1 Timothy 5:13
Each time we go online, we feel the pull of idleness. We may log on to the Internet with every intention of accomplishing a task, only to get curious about what other people are doing, and so neglect what we should be doing. And before we know it, we’re on the slippery slope to becoming a gossip or a busybody.
While we may draw the line at spreading gossip, we may easily get drawn into reading gossip on the Internet. And the effect on our souls is poisonous: “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.” (Proverbs 18:8)
But maybe our idleness inclines us more toward the busybody—that unattractive character we considered yesterday, peering at other people through her computer screen, overly curious about their lives, meddlesome, maybe even quick to criticize or correct.
“If not doing one’s own business, one is apt to meddle with his neighbor’s business. Idleness is the parent of busybodies.” (Jamieson-Faussett-Brown Bible Commentary)
The close relationship between idleness and busybodiness (if I can coin a word) is highlighted again in 2 Thessalonians 3:11: “For we hear that some among you walk in idleness” Paul says, “not busy at work, but busybodies.”
Not busy at work, but busybodies. Is that what Paul would hear about us today? Are we not busy with our own business, but busy with the business of others?
This temptation confronts us every time we go online: to neglect the business God has given us to do today in favor of reading about, and in some cases, meddling in the business of others.
But we can resist busybody behavior by simply doing the work God has called us to do; busying ourselves with our own hearts and not the hearts of others, our own homes and relationships and not the homes and relationships of others, our own work and not another’s work.
By avoiding idleness online we can steer clear of the slippery slope that leads to the busybody.