Have you heard the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground?” Do you ever wonder why people get into trouble when they have extra time on their hands? Think about it, when a spouse is away at a conference, they may fall easier to temptation than when they are home in their busy routine of family life. Even an unemployed person may fall victim to pornography as they sit at home with nothing to do but look for jobs online.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Some temptations come to the industrious, but all temptations attack the idle.”
Proverbs 16:27-29 reads, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Wickedness loves company – and leads others into sin.”
When you find yourself with nothing to do, be careful. The evil one is always looking for opportunities to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). Also, be careful about the idle time of your loved ones. If they have too much free time, they are likely to get into trouble.
In 2016, I was working on my dissertation. One of my topics was meditation. To become the expert, I needed to study meditation and learn more about the history and the process. A friend of mine warned me about the danger of emptying the mind. He explained that when the mind is empty, as when meditating with Sanskrit mantras, it opens the door for evil to enter. I had been told that my Sanskrit mantra was a meaningless word and that by focusing on this “meaningless word” I would be meditating. This did not sit easy with me and I did the research to figure out what Sanskrit really was. While some say it is useless, it is not truly meaningless. Sanskrit is an ancient language that was used with Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Many Indian books are written in this ancient language and it was believed to be a religious language. Some say it is the mother tongue of India and is the root of many of the Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi.
So, as a Christian, I found it to be dangerous to use a religious language that I do not understand. Who knows what I was saying as I sat there for 20-minutes several times a day. To continue with my research, I changed the mantra to one of the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). I would start the quiet time by rebuking Satan (Matthew 16:23). I would then enter into a conversation with the one and only God. I would invite Him into my quiet time. The Alpha and the Omega, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, and the Most Holy One is who I wanted to pray to, no one and nothing else. I wanted to make that abundantly clear to myself.
When I did the study for my dissertation and I asked the participants about meditation, I actually got a mix of responses. Some said that they prayed, others would ruminate, and some chose to do yoga. This confusion about meditation led me to further question the practice and the proper application (if any) for Christians. My choice was to not meditate anymore. I just could not feel comfortable with the practice. Instead, I would use that time for prayer. If we shift our focus from ourselves to our relationship with God, the stress of the day seems to go away and the preparation for the future becomes greater.
From a practical application, I was shown an experiment years ago. To do this experiment at home, you’ll need a small Mason jar, marbles, and a golf ball. Visualize the marbles as all the things you have on your to do list. These are the things you have to get done today. The marbles could represent grocery shopping, running errands, or meeting up with a client. Now, put all the marbles in the jar and then try to fit the golf ball in on top, it won’t fit. The golf ball is a goofy visualization of God, no disrespect, just a way to make a point. Finally, empty the jar of everything and put the golf ball in first, then put the marbles in on top. This time, they all fit. Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we put God first in our lives, everything else just works out. I urge you not to empty your mind. Instead, fill your time and your mind with the one and only true God.
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