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Summary: The Bible warns of the deadliness of laziness. As one man put it: “the lazy brain is the devil’s workshop”. Our lazy days are Satan’s busy days. He loves a sitting target – a sitting duck. Laziness is a deadly sin.

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Laziness

2 Thessalonians 3

Introduction

The Bible warns of the deadliness of laziness. As one man put it: “the lazy brain is the devil’s workshop”. Our lazy days are Satan’s busy days. He loves a sitting target – a sitting duck. Laziness is a deadly sin.

When it comes to laziness Americans are possibly the world leader. We’re known as the land of the long weekend, of strikes, sickness and false claims. Where even early retirement has become an idol because anything is better than working, even nothing.

I. Laziness—A Blind Spot

• Do you struggle with laziness?

• I suppose if you are lazy you don’t struggle with it do you?

• Because the whole point of laziness is that it’s what you’re not doing.

• It’s what’s called a sin of omission.

• It’s what you’re not doing rather than what you are doing.

• So, if gluttony is chasing all the wrong things in life, laziness is more about failing to chase the right things.

• Where pride, anger, envy, lust, impurity and gluttony are seen in what you do, laziness is seen in what you don’t do.

• This is why laziness is such an easy sin to fall into.

• All you have to do to do it, is … do nothing.

• It’s always harder to be aware of something you’re not doing, than the things you are doing.

• When we come to confess our sins, we’re more likely to confess the bad things we’ve done than all the good things we’ve left undone.

• Laziness is like falling asleep at the wheel.

• You don’t even know you’ve done it but it’s just as deadly.

• It’s not what you did: speeding, overtaking, whatever.

• It’s what you didn’t do – you didn’t stay awake.

• If there’s one thing Jesus kept telling his disciples, and the Bible keeps telling us: its stay awake, be alert.

II. Busy Bodies vs. not Busybodies

2 Thessalonians 3 shows a bunch of Christians who are in huge danger of falling asleep at the wheel.

• Paul’s been reminding the Thessalonians about the great hope they have as Christians, about the need to live with their focus on heaven ahead, looking forward to a time when everything will be put right.

• But here’s the problem: focusing on heaven ahead doesn’t mean you just sit around waiting for it.

• It means you get busy with heavenly priorities.

• It means you realize all the things God wants you doing as you wait.

• In verse 11 of 2 Thess. 3, it seems some of the Thessalonian Christians have decided that they can just sit back, and take it easy.

• There’s a little song they use do at Pre-School: ‘It’s nice to get up in the morning, it’s nice to get up in the morning, it’s nice to get up in the morning, but it’s nicer to stay in bed”.

• That’s the theme song for some of the Thessalonians.

• As Christians we’re called to share with each other and serve one another, and to care for one another when we’re in need.

• We saw this when we look at the deadly sin of envy—we should always be wanting the best for each other and that’s going to mean showing love in practical ways.

• But there are always some people who say, “Terrific, I can just sit back and take it easy, I don’t have to work, I’ll just drop round on my friends from church every night for dinner.”

• Paul’s not talking here about people who can’t get work though, he’s talking about people who won’t work.

• And Paul commands the Thessalonians to keep away from those people (v 6).

• Paul set an example of hard work: and they ought to follow it.

• He says in verse 10 “if a man will not work, he shall not eat”.

• And he tells them to stop being idle (v 11).

• They’re not busy; they’re busybodies, using their time to drop into other people’s business.

• Lazy people become real vultures, not just feeding on their brothers food but feeding on their brothers lives – through deadly gossip.

• In the end, it’s a reflection of Paul’s gospel priorities, because being a Christian isn’t about taking, it’s always about giving – like Jesus gave to us.

• Being a Christian isn’t about being served; it’s about serving, because of what Jesus did for us.

• Which is why Paul goes on to say that we should ‘never tire of doing what is right’ (v 13).

• He’s saying: get busy with what is right.

• I’m sure most of us would think we’re busy people.

• That we’re earning our keep, that we’re not the lazy people Paul’s talking about here.

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