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)
All praise unto the Lord God and his Son Jesus Christ who along with the Holy Spirit don’t ever stop doing good to those who believe in the Gospel. Blessed is He who comes in the name of Lord. Amen.
A person is usually called a sinner as per the sinful action he commits. There is also something called as sin of inaction and apathy. In such a sin a person has a chance to do what is good but he willfully avoids.
For someone who never felt that avoiding good works is a sin, I’d say that it is indeed a sin. And the following scripture verses confirm this:
- So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17)
- And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. (Luke 12:47)
- For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. (2 Peter 2:21)
If you get an opportunity to do an act of kindness without compromising on your holiness then go ahead to do good. Saying kind words are not taxable, so why are you worried about the cost? Obviously, kindness that I’m talking about is not flattery nor trickery but genuine kindness.
The sin of inaction and apathy often partners with a slothful person. Some are always slothful but some are too cunning. Such people might be selectively active. So wherever they can serve themselves but when it comes to helping others they will totally avoid it. They love to pass on the buck to someone else. The usual excuse is that they don’t have the time and the money. Well, everyone gets 24 hours a day so the time excuse is invalid. The money excuse too is weird because there are plenty of good deeds that don’t actually need money to be spent in any way. You can always give away your old or unused clothes and furniture to a charity that looks after the poorest of the poor. You could help a blind person cross the road. Suppose you’re at a garden, you can watch out for children who are temporarily left unattended by their parents (there are freaks who try to harm children who are alone in parks) and raise an alarm if someone tries to hurt such children. Such things don’t need money but rather a mind open to the will of God.
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge. (Proverbs 29:7)
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31: 8-9)
There are those who are oppressed who need your help and prayers. Their voices are not considered by society and so in a way they are voiceless. If you hear or know of such people in trouble do not deny them their right to exist. Speak up for them unto God and unto people who fight for justice. Pray that all workers of iniquity are stopped from carrying out their vile deeds against those you know are being oppressed by them. You can also approach the relevant church or human or racial equality groups so that the downtrodden of society get help.
Now if you into the sin of inaction and apathy its time that you realize that firstly this is indeed a sin and next its punishable in the afterlife. If you read Matthew 25:31-46 which speaks of the Final Judgement you will notice that Jesus our Lord will condemn all those who avoided doing what is right. The following verses of Matthew chapter 25 confirm this:
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Today is the time that you can choose to be open to the will of God and repent of every sin. Repent of all sins of inaction and apathy. Desire to actually do what is good and holy in the eyes and life for the glory of God always.
Suggested Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God and that you will judge all sinners on Judgement Day. I repent of every sin, especially those of inaction and apathy. You are active in doing good to all those who believe in you, for this I give you praise. I resolve by your example to use every opportunity to do good whenever I can. Lord guide me by your Holy Spirit to use my intellect, talents and resources effectively to help others who are in trouble and need my help. Give me the wisdom to be able to do all this in holiness and without being fooled by any evil doer. I ask this in your Holy name, O Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.