I believe that almost everybody (to some extent) is slothful* in their ways, whether it's in the physical sense of laziness or the spiritual sense of ignoring God. As Proverbs 13:4 states, "The sluggard* craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."(NIV) This verse, along with many other verses in the Bible, praises diligence and the profit it brings, at the same time condemning slothfulness as a cause for hunger and poverty, both physical and spiritual. Prov. 12:27, 19:15, 21:25, Ecc. 10:18
The physical form of slothfulness is made evident in many ways; for instance, laziness*, acquiring the love for sleep (Prov. 26:14, Isa. 56:10), making excuses to avoid work (Prov. 22:13), and procrastination (Prov. 24:30). I think you can probably come up with numerous other examples on your own without too much more thought. With this form of slothfulness, as Proverbs 24:34 says, "Poverty will come on you like a bandit, and scarcity like an armed man."
The other form of slothfulness is spiritual. Spiritual slothfulness is much easier for a person to ignore than the physical because its effects are not often seen immediately. In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), Jesus talks about how being a Christian involves more than playing it safe and doing little or nothing. It demands the kind of service that produces results. This means that we should ALL be living by faith, not through our flesh. If God tells us to do something, we shouldn't question Him, for who are we to question God? Sometimes we question Him simply because what He told us to do is just not within our "comfort" zone! If it's truly His will, He can and will provide the way for us to do what He's told us to do if we have faith in Him to do so. What church or ministry has God been guiding you to start or become involved with? I truly doubt the answer to this is "nothing" (unless you already are), for God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of His children. The question that should most likely be asked of God is for Him to open our eyes so we can see where He's been guiding us all this time. I say this because many times we ask God to "show us the way," but do you really think God ever STOPS showing us the way? Or could it be that we, at times, ignore His guidance, because what we really want is for Him to show us the way WE want to go?
In the end, we all need to remember that we don't stop being slothful by just saying so and doing it in our own efforts, (Just Do It!) as the world may view it. What we need to do is to admit to both ourselves and God that we cannot stop being slothful through our own efforts. We then need to give the problem up to Him, at which point we will be able to work through it together, growing closer to Him in the process.
*In most translations of the Bible, the word "lazy" and "sluggard" are used in place of the word "slothful". The KJV Bible uses the word "slothful".
By Ira Krizo
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