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)
O believer in Christ hear this loud,
Leave behind vanity, do not be proud.
Focus on things for God that matter,
Let not in odd things your mind scatter.
Strive to enter by the road that is narrow,
Worth are you more than any sparrow.
Open the door of your heart for sure,
So that God’s word in you does endure.
Heal those in affliction and despair,
Give them divine grace beyond compare.
Pray for those in need, pain and tears,
Rescue those tormented by evil and fears.
God’s spirit will guide you in truth strong,
Hold onto your faith and don’t do wrong.
Be an example noble and not wild,
Live holy for you’re now God’s child.
Visit orphans and widows in their affliction,
Give them respite and hope with true conviction.
Pray for those in prison and those mistreated,
Be as if in their place you are seated.
Provide for your relatives, especially of your household,
By this do not give faithlessness in you a stronghold.
Preach the Gospel to all and without any guile,
Let your testimony unto Christ be worthwhile.
- I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)
- Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. (Proverbs 4:26)
- Because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14)
- Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)
- What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:14)
- Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)
- Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:3)
- 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)
- Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.(Ephesians 5:15-16)
- For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.(2 Corinthians 2:17)
- For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
In your walk with Christ your desire, discipline and dedication towards the Lord can work wonders for you. You must desire to do the will of God. And to effectively do the will of God you must discipline yourself through the Word of God. And you must continue to be dedicated under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to continue in the right desire and discipline that you need to follow Christ.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control,lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
The best desire for any person is to do the will of God. The will of God is that you believe in Christ. The will of God is that you be holy as the Lord your God is holy. The will of God is that you love God and love your neighbor. Now it looks all so simple, yet so many people are not able to desire the will of God either because they are engrossed into worldly passions or are blinded by the devil. Many people pass away into an infernal and painful eternity as they never once, not even once desired to walk in the will of God.
Might be they never had the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them or may be they heard it but it never took a place in their hearts. However, a believer in Christ who has heard the Gospel has many good things placed before him such as healing, restoration, prosperity, prophecy, wisdom etc. And among the best of these things is the will of God himself. So desire the will of God in your life.
Desire towards the truth is a good to thing to have. Often that is the starting point to receiving Jesus Christ in one’s life. However it doesn’t end over there. A person must live a disciplined life. A misdirected desire might end up in the wrong direction. The principles of discipline in the Bible keep us pointed towards Christ.
To give you an example, just because you profess to love Christ doesn’t mean that you now start fasting, praying for long hours to earn your salvation. (Fasting and praying do not save, only by faith are you saved). Here’s what the Bible says about earning salvation:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Trying to earn your salvation might seem a good desire but in reality it just a lie from the Devil. Jesus called Satan as the father of lies. The Devil is unable to overcome the truth of the Bible. However, to keep people deceived he will invent a lot of lies which go contrary to the Holy Scriptures. No wonder, you must discipline yourself in the Word of God. It will be hard to let go of things, bad things and bad habits that contradict the will of God but once you do it all you will realize that it was worth it. That’s good desire and discipline in action!
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:11-13)
Now the thing that seals the deal with desire and discipline is dedication. Don’t get me wrong but only having desire and discipline will only get you so far. Like for a few months or a couple of years. Dedication takes it further. We are talking about a lifetime. Your belief in Christ was never meant to have an expiry date. None so ever!
Sometimes, I hear testimonies from Christians who came back to Christ after living a life of hedonism and debauchery. They say how they loved Christ and went to church in their childhood but slowly as they ventured into adulthood their zeal for the Lord faded. So much so that there was no trace of it. They loved the false and deceitful pleasures of the world.
Then came that one storm of life that took away all their happiness and set them on a downward spiral of broken relations, being imprisoned and a grave loss of health and money. Eventually someone came by, to preach the Gospel to them and these people truly repented and got saved. Then just to test them a question would be asked, ‘Now will you go back to that sin?’ And there would be a response which is mostly sharp and loud, ‘No, I won’t ever leave Jesus. Why do you even ask that?’. I’m not surprised at their response, for such people have been given a bitter foretaste of hell which hurt their soul within. Only by the grace of God have they tasted the sweet waters of salvation again. That is why they get so emphatic when someone tries to question them about going back into the same set of sins that brought them to serious destruction. This is a just a small glimpse of what dedication feels like.
A person who chooses to live a life of dedication to Christ will not entertain the thought of leaving the great and glorious Saviour Jesus who is the Lamb of God. He will rebuke and shun away all such thoughts that direct him away from Christ. He will realize truly well that the only thing that matters in this life and the next is about continuing to believe in Jesus Christ. For to him, the pain of discipline is nothing in front of the loving mercy of Jesus. A man or a woman who wants to live a life of dedication to the will of God, does continue to maintain both desire and discipline. This is not out of compulsion nor fear of what other believers will say. Rather this is out of great respect and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
A love for God without respecting him is out of sync with the teachings of the Bible teaching and the will of God. Claiming to love him without respecting him in your heart is plain hypocrisy. Do not imitate Judas Iscariot who claimed to be the Lord’s disciple and yet betrayed him because he loved money more than Christ. Do not imitate Caiaphas who was a high priest of God and yet wanted the Son of God dead because he loved man made traditions more than God. These are hypocrites who will receive their due judgement at Judgement day. These men no longer live and so have lost their chance to repent. However, you have a choice and a life to live. In this regard, you are far better off than them for you; you still have your options open. So then, O believer in Christ, live a life dedicated to the will of God. If you are already doing this, then I encourage you to do so even more. Focus and mediate of the following words of Jesus our Lord:
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:19-20)