Is busy a sin? Straight from scripture!

Is ‘busy’ a sin? Straight from scripture!

Is busy a sin?

Is busy a sin? Straight from scripture!

I have been busy most of my life but is busy a sin?

You need to know, I sat down to write this blog and had to close my laptop approximately three minutes later because, you guessed it, something came up.

During those three minutes, I stared at the screen wondering how to begin discussing a deep conversation like this.

My abrupt absence from my desk during home “work hours” is the very portrait of someone being too distracted, and therefore, too busy.

is busy a sin

Back to the topic: Is busy a sin?

I will encourage you to always answer tough questions like this with scripture. So let’s go there.

Busy is mentioned in the Bible (various translations) 20 times. My curiosity led me to analyze each of them and I took a fun tally:

  • 7 of those times were actually a good busy.
  • 2 of those times were referring to things, like a busy street or building.
  • 11 of those times were the bad busy.

Simple enough. That answered my question.

Q: Is busy a sin? A: No, busy is NOT a sin.

If it were, we would see zero “good busy” instances.

Now that that mystery has been solved (I’m either inquisitive or I run down too many rabbit holes), I’ll pose another question…

What makes busy good or bad?

Straight from Scripture, don’ just take my word for it.


“We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight; night is coming on, when no man can work.” John 9:4

“For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body.

Whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].” 2 Corinthians 5:10


“In fact, people walk around as shadows. Surely, they busy themselves for nothing, heaping up possessions but not knowing who will get them.” Psalm 39:6

“Others are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:21

“But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving.” Luke 10:40

is busy a sin

If you read those verses above (and didn’t just scan through them… caught ya!), you will see five very important words: BE BUSY WITH HIS BUSINESS (John 9:4)

It’s easy to become busy doing good things. However, scroll up and you will read Martha was busy serving… but her serving was a bad thing (Luke 10:40).

The difference between being busy doing HIS business (good) and being busy over serving (bad) is simple.

Did He task you with it? Did God give you that assignment or did you take it upon yourself? Who were you trying to make look good?

Were you afraid of disappointing people so you said yes… which crowded your schedule and left you busier and less likely to do other things you are supposed to do?

I got you covered.

I am reading a book right now called The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkeurst, and she addresses this internal dilemma perfectly.

is busy a sin

If you’ve not read it and struggle in this area, here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.”

“Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.”

“My attitude of love must not be sacrificed on the altar of activity.”

“The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines”

Love Fast Live Slow was created to help us busy bee’s slow down and focus on what’s most important.

Take a moment to reflect on where you are spending your energy. Busy isn’t bad AS LONG AS it’s being single-minded on doing what God has asked of you. We can quickly shift from good busy to bad busy… where are you on this tight rope today?

We want to help you step back, slow down and serve others.

50 Ways to Love Fast and Live Slow

Want to slow down and do what matters? Us too! That’s why we’ve created this list to help you get started right away.

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