“Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” I’m sure we have all heard this quote sometime in our lives. This quote comes in many different versions “The Devil finds work/mischief for idle hands to do”, “Idle hands are the Devil’s tools”, “If the Devil finds a Man idle, he’ll set him at Work”, “Idle Brains are the Devil’s Workhouses”, and “Idle hands do the Devil’s work” (1). Even though each of them is worded slightly different, they all mean the same thing. When you are bored it’s a lot easier to do bad things and make the wrong choices. This proves itself true almost every day. Here are only a few examples.
A boy is bored. He sees his little sister playing happily with her toys. The first thing that pops into his head is to go over and cause trouble with her. The devil is putting that into his head, and since he is bored with nothing to do, it seems to him like fun.
Here’s another, a teenager has been home from school for a few hours now, her friends are not calling, she’s checked her Email at least a million times already, and there’s nothing to do. A kid from school, who she knows gets into trouble all the time, calls her and asks if she wants to hang out with him and his friends. Because she is bored and her real friends are busy with other stuff, she accepts. A week later she’s still hanging out with that group, she’s lost her other friends and she is smoking and getting in trouble with the law. This is another scenario where boredom leads to the wrong choices but unlike the first example, this one ends up with much more severe and maybe life ruining effects.
Last example, an adult has been watching her weight, she’s been exercising and on a diet. She’s got nothing to do, she starts pacing around the house and she finds herself in the kitchen. Before she knows it she’s gotten out the vanilla covered almonds and some Dove™ chocolates. Now this is a little harder to identify the bad thing that boredom creates, because what’s the matter with eating? Nothing, except when eating becomes a habit for when you are bored. This is the hardest temptation to overcome, at least for me it is, many times I have found myself snacking on food, not because I’m hungry, but just because I can’t think of anything better to do.
In each of our private lives we have some kind of temptation that is created from lack of things to do, how do we overcome this? How can we have victory over the devil? One easy solution is to get a hobby, so when we find that we have nothing to do, instead of being bored, we can go and work on that hobby. It could be anything, building miniatures, sewing, writing, or anything else that you enjoy doing. Just remember “Idle hands are the Devils workshop”
(1) ESC. “Re: Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Tools.” The Meanings and Origins of Sayings and Phrases | Phrasefinder. 20 May 2003. Web. 30 Aug. 2010. .