Christians should avoid laziness in these four key areas of life
Every Christian should consider the Biblical call to avoid laziness and overcome it. Now laziness is not the same thing as resting after a hard days work. Laziness is rather idleness and the quality of being unwilling to work or use effort and energy. For some unwitting people a holiday means a time to be lazy and avoid all work including house work, while others just carry their work (via a laptop or smartphone) together with them. Now this doesn’t mean each Christian ought to avoid holidays or be a workaholic who works until he or she is completely drained out. That would be too extreme, isn’t it?
The key to a balanced Christian life would be to live a life consistent with the principles of the Bible. Now there are four areas of life where a Christian can and must avoid laziness, which are as follows:
1. The Spiritual life.
2. The Emotional life.
3. The Physical life.
4. The Financial life.
I’ll explain what each of them mean and what can be done to avoid laziness in them but first let’s get to know a few Bible verses about laziness. Here’s the first one:
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)
Plus here are a few more Bible verses about laziness to consider:
* A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:4)
* Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. (Proverbs 19:15)
* The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. (Proverbs 20:4)
From the above verses you’d notice that laziness can bring in eventual poverty, hunger and lack. At the same time diligence can make you rich. What would you prefer? For those who want to not be in poverty, hunger and lack which come due to lack of action in the right direction, there’s where the teachings of the Bible come to use. I’ll now explain the four key areas in detail:-
1. The Spiritual life
This is the most important area of life a man, woman or child could ever have. Whatever you do in your present spiritual life can have dramatic consequences in the after life. The problem is that some people are very busy in all areas of their life except that of the spirit. They neglect their prayers unto God, forget to give thanks to the Lord, and even avoid doing good works. The usual excuse is that they are too busy or don’t have time. But whatever be the reason, if you be lazy in your spiritual life then do not expect a good commendation from the Lord God. A few verses to reflect and act upon:
1. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
2. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
3. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
4. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17
2. The Emotional life
Your emotional life is the next most important area. Many people make life changing decisions based on their impulses instead of wisdom. This causes them a lot of hardship later on while it may be possible they might enjoy themselves temporarily. Because people are too lazy to cultivate and safeguard their emotions they easily break in the face of adversity. The people of God are called to be vigilant and wise instead. It’s wise to know your current emotional state towards yourself and the Lord God and even your fellow human beings and animals and so on. This can give you the opportunity to either groom or correct your emotions. A few verses to ponder and work upon:
1. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
2. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
3. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and the evil out of the evil brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
4. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
3. The Physical life
There are people who are very good in their spiritual and emotional life but are lacking in their physical life. Then you hear that such people are finding difficulty in walking or running or climbing and so on. I wish they work on their physical frame as well. So what is the physical life I speak of? It’s basically the physical well-being of the body in terms of nutrition and exercise. While I do agree that it’s given to man to die once and then comes the resurrection of the just (and the unjust for those who die in their sin) it does not mean we neglect our physical bodies in the mean time. The Bible never tells us to neglect our body once we get saved, in fact we are told that we who believe in Christ Jesus are nothing less than the temple of the Holy Spirit. Read the following Bible verses and use them to your benefit:
1. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19)
2. For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)
3. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might (Proverbs 24:5)
4. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong (Proverbs 31:17)
4. The Financial life
The area of finance is something that people give way too much importance to. However the areas of spirit, emotions and physical life should not be neglected while working on the area of finance. Some get into debt because they sleep or laze around instead of working when it’s the time to work. There are others who awake enough to earn their living but asleep enough to not check their overspending or even getting into debts that they can easily avoid. As a result there is a lot of strain in terms of money in their life which affects their families too. So don’t love money at all but instead be diligent in earning it and saving it and only spend it wisely. A few verses in this area that you can act upon:
1. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5)
2. In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23)
3. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
4. But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:26-30)
An experience this year that I faced
I recently shared a prayer called ‘Uproot in me every evil seed‘ and then a prayer called ‘Plant in me O Lord’. Now there’s a good reason for it. This year has been quite a dramatic year for me on various fronts. Especially on the spiritual front. So I felt like I better share this one up before the year ends. It’s possible that by knowing this, you too might ask God for the right things in life and elimination of evil from your life.
Just before this year could begin and even right up to April 2015, I’d be encouraged to pray that every evil seed is uprooted from my life. I received such suggestions from various people. Originally, the context of such a praying attitude was to ensure one doesn’t get sick or unwell. However, the field of view expanded. With faith in the Lord Jesus, I kept praying every time there was a call to remove all obstacles that come in the will of God in my life.
Then things started unfolding themselves in my life by the grace of God. I found that evil seeds can also be people, not mere illnesses alone. Suddenly I started noticing some the people who profess the Christian faith and who were good friends and allies of mine at that time for many years, were not all that much into the faith. I mean their view of the Gospel didn’t go by with the true Gospel at all. Let me make it real to you, for starters some believed that once forgiven they do not need to ever repent if they happen sin again. (I’ve already covered this in a much earlier post called as The heresy of pre forgiven sin). And this was surprising to me that they conveniently kept this hidden for a long time from me though they were much aware that I do believe in repentance every time a person sins, not just one time only.
There were another bunch of folks who were of the opinion that God will automatically grant his ‘stamp’ of approval on everything they do, even if meant using deceitful means. For them it was not a case of doing God’s will in their life. It was the opposite, which is their own thoughts and opinions are ‘deemed’ as God’s will for them on the assumption that everything they do is by default approved by the Lord without checking with the Bible. They seemed to conveniently ignore the following verses of the Bible:
- There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 16:25)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Then there was the legalistic brigade which believes that one must fast for almost everything and at every season. Legalism works as a counferfeit of discipline and I surely have had a tough time dealing with such people until I realized that the best way to tackle them is by the Holy Scriptures. And they were the most hostile to deal with but eventually they couldn’t prevail against the principles of the Bible.
I mentioned only three types of deviations in short without going too much in to the specifics, but there are more such deviations from the Gospel I noticed among others this year (again!), which I intend to expose in the future, but these should suffice for now.
A common trend that I noticed among such people is that they were cherry picking Bible verses as per their liking instead of taking the whole of the Bible in context. Besides this they were obsessed with their denominational tags and doctrines far much more than normal. And this led them to label anyone (not just me) as one who is ignorant and in need of their ‘guidance’. Well it didn’t work on me especially when I realized they had an aversion to the teachings of the Epistle of James and also of the Letter to the Hebrews in the Bible. One even said they hate such and such Bible verse and I’d be shocked by such replies. They again ignore the fact that ‘Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (Proverbs 30:5)’. So I also didn’t ignore that they were repeatedly trying to spoil my name in the preaching of the word obviously behind my back since they knew they stand no chance in a debate with me, though I at many times asked for face to face discussion about their points of view. So, I immediately went on guard against them and now they are totally out of my life, for good.
The effect was a lot of peace and joy, which was almost instant. I didn’t realize that they were such a negative influence of me until they actually got removed from my life. I could pray really well again! It came to my mind, that not a single part of me being happy depends on them but it’s only up to the Lord alone. Oddly, I didn’t even have to try too hard. The Lord just made it turn out in such a way that they by their own actions are now in a different direction from me. My only judgement on them was that I won’t be wasting my time on those who hinder my walk with the Lord God. As simple as that!
To those curious about the judgement part I’d suggest that you read a few earlier posts of mine titled Do not judge or do no repent? & Some people seem to read only the words ‘Judge not’ in the Bible. Under those circumstances it had become less of judgement and more of respect to the Lord. One couldn’t remain with such people without them in return attempting to undermine the rightful knowledge of the Gospel.
My own observation was that whatever that I’d ask them to pray for me wouldn’t happen but in fact the reverse would happen. I mean challenges in life would seem to overpower me. But then when they got out of my life, I kept a very basic level of prayer and saw good results. I’d just would read the Bible and then ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand it correctly and then pray as plainly as possible. So the part of the part removing every evil seed prayer, came out well for the glory of God. This was in a way trying to keep only Christ as mediator between myself and God.
There’s the part of planting in one’s life not by one’s own standards but by the will of God. This part is not yet complete but let me say this year as I prayed for the best alliances and friendships in life, the Lord God has indeed given me these things really well. And I know that more is due in the future. It’s just that I was initially more focused on removal of evil. But I know for sure that now in the future, it also needs to be about acceptance of the good things of God by asking in faith.
I do hope that now you know the context of the two prayers about removing evil seeds and planting right seeds and are so are able to pray much better. This doesn’t actually stop at praying effectively alone. It’s more about the will of God going right in your life in terms of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God be with you, always!
Will power, discipline and legalism in doing the works of God
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing (Psalm 100:2)
Do you serve the Lord with gladness? Do you feel that serving God is something that you need to do legalistically or freely?
Never get into a legalistic mode when serving God. Because your will power and disciple will get affected in the course of time. You are not a robot!
The Christian faith goes beyond religion because it concentrates not on rituals but on relation. Not any ordinary relation but a relationship with God through Jesus Christ his Son. So keep ritualistic attitudes outside and far away from your relationship with God.
It may be possible to show your gladness externally like smiling, singing when preaching the Gospel to unbelievers. But sometimes you can’t actually do this in instances of praying for a person who is suffering from cancer and is in pain. The point is that the expression of gladness must always be there in your inner being. You can be happy in your heart that Christ gives you salvation even in the midst of pain and suffering that you encounter either in yourself and others. Even Moses said in Exodus 15:2 that; The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Getting your mind right can dramatically affect your will power and discipline in doing the works of God. You will need to be very familiar with the word of God for this and put it to action.
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:7-10)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)
A sure sign of faith that is disciplined is that you do not empower the flesh nature but rather you focus on the desires of the Spirit.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6)
We must encourage each other to hold on the to word of Christ. Never force anyone but rather do it in freedom and respect. We do not condone sin but we exhort each other to be holy for God.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:1-12)
Accept the discipline of God because he loves you. God loves you as his child. No good parent will like to see his child eat stale food. If a child still tries to eat stale food then the good parent will surely try to correct the child. This is because the parent is aware of what is beneficial to the child and what is not.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage (Psalm 94:12-14)
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)
Never mistake the correction (or chastisement) of God as punishment. Because if you were to be punished he would have done so already. Correction is so that you improve while punishment comes due to lack of repentance.
Correction may come in form of preaching, teaching and examples in real life. Most of the while the Lord God will speak through your conscience about whether you are making a wrong move or walking on the right path. Sometimes godly people will approach you and try to get you on the right track. Never get confused between false accusers and those who truly are trying to help. Check the facts for yourself with the Bible as your guide. Because skepticism is not a substitute for discernment.
The difference between correction and punishment must be clear to you. Otherwise you might simply be bitter over nothing. Suppose you are speeding in your car and your dad is in your car too and he yells at you to slow down, he is not punishing you. He is only correcting you. However, if he makes you stop because you refused to slow down and then bans you for a month from driving then that is punishment.
You are to remain disciplined even as you commend others to godliness. If you train people to be holy but yourself commit robbery, you are in danger of hell fire.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27)
You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2: 23-24)
Have your will power and discipline for the Lord God not out of compulsion but out a free and thankful heart. This way you will truly give glory to God through Jesus Christ his Son. God be with you!