Be Careful of Your Thoughts!


From a child, I have always heard this adage, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop!” Of course, when I heard it over and over as a child, I did not know exactly what it meant. In later years, no one had to tell me what it meant because I experienced it. It is always nice to have quiet time, but don’t linger too long. This will be the very time that the devil will come around creeping and put all sorts of things into your head that should not be there. Satan is not going to come around to bring you anything good. Remember that! His thoughts are always focused on that which is evil. However, this adage is biblical in nature, but not exact. Proverbs 16:27 (TLB) is closest to it: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” The King James Version of this Scripture states, “An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.” The Good News Translation (GNT) reads, “Evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil.” No matter the translation, beware of idleness because your thoughts can have more power than you may think!

There are several verses in the Word that speak of “idleness.” Let’s take a look at just a few from the English Standard Version (ESV):

• “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” (I Timothy 5:13).

• “For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies” (II Thessalonians 3:11).

• “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27).

• “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (I Thessalonians 5:14).

As you can see, in just these four verses, there is nothing positive about idleness. Therefore, an idle mind can be the devil’s workshop if you are not careful. Continual sitting around with nothing to do can be dangerous because what you’re doing is allowing the devil to take control of your mind. If you take no positive action, negativity, dangerous thoughts, all manner of evil, etc., will fill the void, and these negative thoughts can turn into negative actions if allowed.

As it has been said, “If you realize how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” Ponder the adage further as you read Marc Chernoff’s short illustration, “The Weight of the Glass.”

“Once upon a time a psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical ‘glass half empty or glass half full’ question. Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, ‘How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?’ Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple of pounds.

“She replied, ‘From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.’

“As the class shook their heads in agreement, she continued, ‘Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer, and you begin to ache a little. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them’”

Be careful of your thoughts! Televangelist Joyce Meyer warned, “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind!” Which do you desire to have? Only you can answer that question! Always abound in the faith, and never leave home without Him!