So far, we have discussed pride, envy, and anger. Today, idleness is the topic. God disdains the sin of laziness in his people. Laziness is simply not congruent with the Christian life and a bad witness to those around us. Diligence should accompany our salvation, not laziness! We are warned about laziness both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Solomon writes about it in 21 of his Proverbs and emphasizes it in Ecclesiastes 10:18 (“If you are lazy, the rafters sag; if you hands are idle, the house leaks.”)
A door turns on its hinges, but never leaves its place nor goes anywhere. It moves back and forth, but never leaves the doorway. In a similar manner, there are lazy people who will lie in the comfort of their beds when it is morning and time to get up, rolling back and forth like a door. They dread the thought of getting up to go to work or school. They are done with their sleep for the night, but still can’t bring themselves to get up out of bed. Solomon wrote other proverbs on the danger of too much sleep in Proverbs 19:15.
Laziness (also called slothfulness in the Bible) can become a habit. The more a person sleeps, the more he thinks that he needs to sleep, and there is a slowing of the body’s metabolism. This can lead to physical sluggishness. The lazy individual will do anything but work and make all the excuses in the world to stay in their warm and cozy beds.
Jesus taught on laziness in the Parable of the Loaned money in Matthew 25:14-30. There, Jesus emphasizes that the gifts of time, abilities, and our money that he bestows on us are to be used in an intentional manner. To waste these gifts is like “pouring them down the drain,” and is indeed sinful.
The apostle Paul was especially hard on laziness. He called it idleness in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7 “In the name of the Lord, stay away from people who are idle and do not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you know how you ought to follow a good example.”
In Titus 1:12-14, he noted “The people of Crete were notorious for being liars, brutes, and lazy gluttons.” Paul encouraged Titus to rebuke them sharply, so they will be sound in their faith. Then in Titus 3:14, he says, “ Christians must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.”
The writer of Hebrews says this in Hebrews 6:9-12, “Certain things should accompany one’s salvation. God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Enough said?
God warns the church at Sardis in Revelation 3:3, by saying this: “Remember what you have heard; obey it, and repent. Wake up! Jesus will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time He will come to you.” This church was idle, and not moving forward in their walk, discipleship, and ministries!
None of us are perfect stewards! There is a tendency for us to be complacent and take it easy. The encouragement is we can always do more than we do with what God has given us. Pray about how God can use you today to honor him. Stretch yourself and get out of your comfort zone.