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100 Bible Verses About Idleness

    Idleness is a life perspective subtly criticized within the pages of the Bible as it discourages participation in society, promotes waste of a person’s potential and undervalues the time that each individual has been granted on Earth. This article explores the viewpoint of the Bible on idleness, supporting points with biblical verses without focusing on the specifics of the biblical texts themselves.

    What Is The Biblical Definition of Idleness?

    The Bible characterizes idleness as the state of indolence, lack of activity or slacking off during our obligations, which could be in our work, towards our family or our community responsibilities. In a broader sense, this can also mean failure to spiritually grow. The Bible regards idleness as a lack of contribution to society’s growth, as those immersed in idleness waste their god-given abilities and time, which could otherwise be used productively within their communities.

    Why Does the Bible Condemn Idleness?

    The Bible denounces idleness primarily because it generally leads to unproductivity and negativity — counterproductive to the established Christian values such as diligence, charity and hard work. Since humans are regarded in the Bible as stewards of God’s creation, it is expected that humans utilize their skills and time properly, helping shape a better society. When one is idle, it is believed that they squander these valuable blessings, falling into the pitfalls of ruinous behavior such as gossip, laziness, or neglect of their duties.

    Who Are Considered Idle According to the Bible?

    Those exhibiting a lack of diligence, purpose, or serving no beneficial role in society are considered idle in the Bible. This lack of purpose could be due to unwillingness to work, contribute to society, or grow spiritually. It is not confined to physical manifestations like laziness but encapsulates an avoidance of intellectual or spiritual growth. Thus, individuals who do not contribute positively to the benefit of themselves or others, or who ignore moral and spiritual growth, can be seen as idle according to the Bible.

    Where Does the Bible Address Idleness?

    Verses relating to idleness can be found throughout different books of the Bible, collectively forming an enlightening discourse on the subject. Both the Old and New Testaments discuss idleness, highlighting its potential negative effects on society, one’s mental and spiritual health, and overall quality of life. Although specific citations are not provided in this summary, idleness and its perils form a recurring subject theme in the Bible alluding to the importance of active engagement in beneficial activities and tasks, rather than falling into a state of casual disregard or laziness.

    When Does the Bible Encourage Activeness Over Idleness?

    The Bible motivates its followers to be active and diligent in various scenarios. Every occasion demanding responsibility, whether personal or societal, provides an opportune moment for one to choose diligence over idleness. From situations concerning physical labor to circumstances requiring spiritual growth, the Bible encourages activeness. This active nature is not just limited to the context of hard work, but expands to nurturing relationships, showing kindness, and growing spiritually. The overall narrative endorses full engagement in all aspects of life while warning against the perilous implications of idleness.

    Below is our full list of bible verses on idleness (King James Version – KJV) provided in ranked order.

    Most Popular Bible Verses About Idleness

    1 Timothy 5:13

    13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”

    Related Themes: Gossip Busybodies Letting Go

    Ecclesiastes 10:18

    18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Sloth

    Proverbs 19:15

    15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Homelessness Boredom

    Proverbs 13:4

    4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”

    Related Themes: Business Laziness Money Procrastination

    2 Thessalonians 3:10

    10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Work Homelessness

    2 Thessalonians 3:11

    11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.”

    Related Themes: Gossip Laziness Busybodies Personal Responsibility

    Proverbs 31:27

    27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

    Related Themes: Gossip

    Proverbs 12:24

    24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”

    Related Themes: Procrastination Laziness Diligence Money

    Proverbs 24:30-34

    30 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.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Money

    Ezekiel 16:49

    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.”

    Related Themes: Homelessness Pride Attitude Abomination

    Proverbs 20:13

    13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Homelessness Poverty Discipline

    Proverbs 18:9

    9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”

    Related Themes: Business Laziness Work Procrastination

    Proverbs 20:4

    4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Procrastination Business

    Proverbs 10:4

    4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”

    Related Themes: Business Money Laziness Finances

    Proverbs 14:23

    23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.”

    Related Themes: Money Business Finances Laziness

    Proverbs 21:25

    25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.”

    Related Themes: Business Laziness Sloth

    1 Thessalonians 5:14

    14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”

    Related Themes: Patience Community Working Together Criticism

    Matthew 12:36

    36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

    Related Themes: Gossip Fighting Slander Accountability

    2 Thessalonians 3:6

    6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”

    Related Themes: Excommunication Traditions

    Proverbs 6:6

    6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:”

    Related Themes: Money Finances Laziness

    Matthew 20:6

    6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?”

    Proverbs 12:27

    27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Diligence Finances

    Ephesians 4:28

    28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

    Related Themes: Stealing Coveting Work Labor

    Proverbs 23:21

    21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”

    Related Themes: Gluttony Indulgence

    Proverbs 26:13-16

    13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.”

    Related Themes: Laziness

    Ecclesiastes 4:5

    5 The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.”

    Exodus 5:8

    8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.”

    Proverbs 15:19

    19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.”

    Related Themes: Laziness Sloth Procrastination

    Proverbs 26:16

    16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.”

    Related Themes: Pride Sarcasm

    Proverbs 22:13

    13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”

    Related Themes: Procrastination