The Devil’s Tennis Ball

If any of my readers have not seen this quotation by Thomas Watson, it is a real gem, and sounds shockingly modern (from The Godly Man’s Picture):

An idle person is the devil’s tennis ball, which he bandies up and down with temptation till at last the ball goes out of play.

With apologies to any tennis players out there (and maybe an apology to Shakespeare’s Henry V, which features tennis balls so prominently), this quotation blew me away when I first read it yesterday, quoted in the Reformation Heritage Study Bible on 2 Samuel 11 and the temptation of David. Of course, in the history of David, the author subtlely castigates David for staying at home when kings were supposed to go to war. Being idle was his first mistake.

Of course, Americans oftentimes have the opposite problem of being too busy that they have no time for meditation on God’s Word or prayer. Mere busyness is not a virtue, any more than mere idleness. If you are busy, be busy about the kingdom work. If you are resting, rest in order to sharpen your axe.

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