“And beside they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” -1 Timothy 5:13
Paul wrote this passage to the young widows in the church, urging them to marry because they were spending their time gossiping from house to house, not being productive but idle.
But this isn’t problem that plagues just the single ladies – many married women also have the same problem. We women just like to talk – usually about other women. Stick around long enough with a certain type of woman, and you’re bound to say something about someone that you later regret (or worse, end up hurting that someone when what you said gets back to her).
The Greek interpretation describes being idle as free from labor, at leisure, lazy, shunning the labor which one ought to perform or useless. This is the breeding ground for trouble – whether it’s gossip, spending hours watching frivolous television, trolling the internet, or a variety of other ways we can waste time when we’re bored or feeling lazy.
To resolve the problem, Paul advises the young widows to find a purpose: marry, have children, manage a house, just do something intentional with your time so you don’t give the enemy a chance to steal you and your time away from the Lord. Find a goal – something to motivate you; to drive you to fill your days productively; to give you a purpose. There is so much need out there – we must only be brave and motivated enough to turn the TV off, stop the gossiping, and go out there to make what matters happen.