A Look at Laziness
Newton’s first law of motion states: an object in motion will remain in motion and an object at rest will remain at rest. Newton only discovered these laws—God created them. You could easily replace the word “object” with “person” and the law would still be true: A person in motion will remain in motion and a person at rest will remain at rest. Do you know anyone who is always in motion, always on the go, or always working hard? They are constantly in motion, abiding by Newton’s first law. The same can be said for the lazy person. Do you know anyone who is always resting, kicking back, taking the easiest way and the quickest shortcut? They tend to always follow these habits and routines. They are at rest and they remain at rest. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about laziness.
“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”
Laziness is something I have struggled with often in my life, and I think it’s a common sin Satan uses, much like sexual sin, of which men are easy targets. Laziness is one of those “root” sins back to which we can trace a lot of our failures and shortcomings. We might work hard at our place of employment but we leave ourselves little energy for anything else—daily devotional time in the Word, dedicated prayer, chores at home, duties as husbands, duties as fathers, etc. I love verse 10 of Proverbs 6: “A little extra sleep, a little more slumber…” these are snooze-button people. God clearly warns against this behavior. Laziness is what tells us to get more sleep rather than wake up early each day to be in the Word and have quiet time with God. Laziness leads us to sleep-in and miss Bible study or church in the morning. Laziness leads us to be inattentive husbands or inactive fathers. Laziness tells us that we’ve worked hard so we deserve a little reward or pleasure for ourselves, which can lead to sexual sin or sometimes gluttony.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Verse 17: “Never stop praying.” Many translations read: “Pray without ceasing.” There are so many days in my life where prayer is not a constant and it’s only due to laziness. We must be active in our relationship with God and prayer is at the center of that action. According to Newton, we need to be in motion with our prayer if we expect to remain in motion.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for man.”
This eliminates any excuse we could come up with for laziness. Whatever we do in life we need to do it as if we are doing it for the Lord and not for anyone else. That’s not just at your job but it includes your role as a husband, father, friend, Christian; you do your best for the Lord, not for anyone else. How can we tell the One who faced the cross, on our behalf, that we are too tired to do something? There is no excuse with Colossians 3:23 in our minds and hearts.
To give a more tangible idea of how seriously God takes laziness, the following is a list of verses in Proverbs warning against the dangers of laziness: Proverbs 6:6-11, 12:24, 13:4, 18:9, 20:4, 21:25, 26:13-16.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
That old sinful nature is dead, nailed to the cross with Christ and our new life is in Him. We should follow God’s warning and guidance about laziness. We need to remember that God will always give us the strength to make it through and perhaps that is exactly where God wants us to be; perhaps He wants us to push through those lazy tendencies to the point where we feel so close to exhaustion and in that exhausted state we turn to Him for help because, after all, God always wants us to turn to Him.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.