Summary: Sloth is considered one of the seven deadly sins

Benjamin Franklin, an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States once stated: “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.” Proverbs 15:19 states: “The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”

Many of us are probably aware that sloth is considered one of the seven deadly sins. It is an unfortunate fact of life that some people become inherent of this malady to varying degrees and for various reasons. Proverbs 24:30-34 states: “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”

The dictionary defines sloth as laziness, indolence, idleness and inactivity to name but a few examples. The primary problem that exists, is that while this may be acceptable for short periods of rest, this can escalate to non-proportional levels very quickly if we are not careful and eventually become the norm. Everyone needs rest from work and other activities as a matter of need in life, that is an undisputed fact, without that, severe problems can develop both mentally and physically. However, the prominent question remains as to what extent it should be allowed to prevail?

There is a saying that the “Devil finds work for idle hands” The King James Version of the Bible refers to “Idle hands” as pertaining to “Ungodliness.” Proverbs 16:27 states: “An ungodly man diggeth up evil and in his lips, there is as a burning fire.” But the Living Bible of 1971 enhances this and injects the idea into its paraphrase of this passage that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop and that idle lips are his mouthpiece.”

Everyone needs a balanced life with a defined time to work, a time to relax, a time to play and a time just to enjoy life as it should be enjoyed. However, doing nothing consistently, helps no one. It is not good for the soul, it is not good for the mind, it is not good for the heart. If one adopts this mentality and outlook, life really does not become worth living. There is no point in our existence. We have all been put on earth for a specific purpose. Our aim should be to reach that goal, which not only fulfils the will of God, achieves inner satisfaction and a sense of achievement, but creates a positive input in life for the benefit of others.

Indolence can lead to crime-related activities. God wants us to work the land for our own benefits as well as others. If we produce nothing we can only give nothing. If we lack money for food and essentials then we are more likely to turn to crime to furnish that necessity. We then become ungodly people and we are actually living in sin. Ephesians 4:28 confirms: ”Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

There was once a man considered by many to be so indolent that his local nickname had become “Slothful Fred” It was as much as he could do to climb the stairs to go to bed at night and descend again in the mornings.

On the rare occasions that he ventured out, he always used an electric mobility scooter to save any exertion to his body. He expected everything to be done for him by all those around him and gave nothing in return.

He would spend his day sitting in front of the television watching game shows and films that were often so old they had been made in black and white. Conversations with others were limited as they took too much effort on his part, both thinking and the actual physical exertion of speaking.

Whilst he was a God-fearing man, he hadn’t attended church for many years as he considered the effort too taxing for him. If he was encouraged to actively take part in any events he always declined the offer stating that it would be too tiring for him.

Inactivity had become the keyword in life. He had actually become similar to a living zombie without any purpose. Surely he had to change his ways and start living again? But nothing appeared to sway him, until one day, on one of his rare trips out, he met a wise old bearded man who having listened to his tales of woe, explained the error of his ways in a friendly but firm manner. He had stopped at a cafe for a cup of coffee and sitting at the next table was his benefactor. He was told in no uncertain terms that he was living in sin, even though he may not be consciously aware of it. If he continued in his present vein, his afterlife could have dire consequences.

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