What is your ideal “lazy scenario?” Is laziness part of original sin? Is part of our human nature an aversion (i.e., a strong feeling of dislike) to activity, purpose, and intentionality? Would you agree that laziness is a root of many evils that we contribute to? How does laziness lead to poor character and a loss of virtue?
Were Adam and Eve too lazy to go and find God and ask for help in light of the apparent lies that Satan was spreading? Examine the times you succumb to temptation and if you are honest, you will find an element of laziness. I know I do. What is your current laziness rating?
Success in anything requires hard work and diligence. Academically, good grades do not come automatically. Emotionally, good friendships do not just happen; they need to be cultivated. Relationships do not grow and develop unless we commit to the work it takes to extend ourselves in ways that are demanding and sometimes uncomfortable. Physically, it is easy to go to your first year of college and put on the “freshman fifteen” because you have more food options available to you. For some, it takes a while to make sure they are burning off more calories from working out than they are taking in at the dining commons.
And we do not want to forget that spiritual growth takes effort as well. Paul told the Roman Christians in 12:11 that they should not “burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.” There are no “couch potatoes” or “armchair Christians” in the Kingdom of God. If you do not apply yourself to cultivating your growth in Christ, your faith will suffer. Whatever you feed – apathy or passion – will grow.
Read Proverbs 6:1-11 and 2 Peter 1:5-8.
I am not advocating a workaholic approach to life, with an attitude that says “24/7, no rest, no play, no balance.” Richard Exley wrote a helpful book in 1987 called “The Rhythms of Life” where he outlined the balance and benefits of work, rest, worship, and play. Everyone needs a framework to manage life, but there is a tendency to seek more than an occasional break from hard work. Exley argues that each of the four areas he writes about are critical for maximum health and we need to put life’s priorities into proper perspective and practice (see the example of Jesus in Luke 2:52). Given the option of rest or work, most of us would choose the sofa and remote control rather than a mop and a broom, or keeping our checkbook balanced.
Yet work has its rewards. When we overcome our natural bent towards laziness and try to accomplish something, we gain a few things: First, the work produces higher grades, better friendships, a healthier body, and a stronger faith. Second, the act of telling our lazy self “NO” is a behavioral strategy that reminds us that we don’t have to give in to our natural impulses.
How are you feeling today? Do you hear the recliner calling? Are you a little lazy even though there is something you need to do? I hope you will agree with the writer of Hebrews when he wrote in 6:12, “We do not want you to be lazy.” You may have to call laziness for what it is: temptation! You can overcome it, like any other temptation, through faith in Jesus (memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13). On a practical level, I urge you to turn off your gadgets twice a week.
Walk wisely. Stop laziness. Be constructive. You will feel better, and you will be better.
Love is a verb,