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Have you heard the adage, “an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop”? In other words, keep busy and do something good with your life. Did you know that this proverb is based in the Bible? In 1971, a deacon brought to my office a copy of the first version of The Living Bible (Kenneth Taylor) and read selected portions of scripture. Proverbs 16:27 states, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” Who knew? As a junior in high school, I was hired at the Ross Avenue Sears store in Dallas. After I received a detailed training, my first sales assignment was Sporting Goods. Often, players from the Dallas Cowboys team came to sign autographs, and occasionally some cheerleaders visited, too. Call me happy. But the athletic minded manager realized that I knew very little about sports, and quickly recommended me to Men’s Clothing. My new boss was quite social and would leave me alone for hours as he busied himself elsewhere. His only assignment to me was “take care of the customers.” One day there were no customers. So, I just stood around smelling cologne and trying on jackets. Suddenly, a man appeared in front of me and asked if I worked there. His tone of voice seemed odd, more like a boss than a shopper. Indeed, he was the boss of Women’s Clothing and he was unimpressed with my sloppy work ethic. Apparently, he had been observing me for several days, and saw that I was young, inexperienced, and lacking helpful supervision. He told me to be busy working even on days when there were few customers. He pointed out dusty counters, disorganized clothes racks, and disheveled displays. In the stockroom, shoes were scattered on the floor, and shipments of new products needed to be opened. Then, he introduced me to the tailor and asked him to teach me how to mark pants for alteration, and to fit customized suits. After a few weeks, I had an amazing education, increased my value as an employee, and boosted my feelings of self-worth. That man impacted my life for good. In Luke 19, Jesus sold the parable of the nobleman who went away and left his business in the hands of his employees. His basic instructions were given in verse 13, “Occupy till I come.” And he didn’t mean to stand around smelling cologne. That word “occupy” is a busy word. In the Greek it means to “employ in business or trading.” The word “occupation” is closely aligned with “occupy,” and an occupation is far more substantial than just a job. We must remember that the title of “Christian” requires work. The Job Description for Christians includes: · Go - Matthew 28:19 · Grow – 2 Peter 1:5-8 · Obey – John 14:23-24 · Glorify God – Colossians 3:17 · Repent – Matthew 4:17 · Love God and your neighbors – Matthew 22:38-39 · Stay true – Romans 12:1-2 · Rest – Matthew 11:28 I am grateful that someone took the time to invest in my young life and to set me on a course of blessing. May Christians reject a life of idleness, and become busy about the Work of the Lord.

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