Summary: The Seven Deadly Sins - looking at Slothfulness and how we can overcome it.
Deadly? . . . Sloth?
March 25, 2018
Well, I’ve saved the best for last! Today we’re ending our series on the 7 Deadly Sins, as we hope to learn how to avoid these traps and instead to draw closer to God so we can reach our FULL POTENTIAL.
Last week, Eric told you about what it means to be a glutton. That sounded fun! Well, today, I’m going to share with you the deadly sin of being a sloth! Yup, a sloth. That slow moving animal. I did some research to learn more about what a sloth is. Here are some interesting facts ~
Their hands and feet have long, curved claws to allow them to hang upside down from branches without effort, and since they can’t walk, those claws are used to drag them on the ground.
When a sloth moves, it moves at an average speed of 13 ft per minute. They usually eat, sleep, and even give birth hanging from branches. They sometimes remain hanging from branches after they die. They can reduce their metabolism and stay under water for up to 40 minutes. Sloths sleep 15-20 hours per day and spend 80 - 90 % of their time motionless.
If someone says you’re being slothful, that’s what they’re referring to. You’re motionless and inactive.
When we compare the other 6 sins with slothfulness. . . being a sloth, which means, we’re lazy, a slackard, a sluggard, unmotivated . . . and we think, so what’s the big deal? After all, there’s anger, lust, pride, greed, envy, gluttony - - those seem worse than being slothful and some lead to death.
How can we even worry about being a sloth in our world. We are the most on the go generation ever. We live on Red Bull, Monster, extra caffeine in our coffee and Mountain Dew. We take fewer vacations, work longer hours, are doing home improvement work, are taking the kids everywhere. We come home exhausted and want to take a few minutes or hours just to unwind to rest and catch our breath. Slothful? No way!!
Maybe being slothful is more about our relationship with God, and how we’ve moved away from Him. Maybe all the time we spend on social media could be better spent with God. Consider how much time you spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Youtube, plus whatever I left out. Add to that X-box, Play Station and phone games. Add up your hours per day and compare that to your minutes with God. So, maybe there’s something deadly about being a sloth!
We do our best to justify our actions or lack of actions. Proverbs 6 tells us ~
9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. - Proverbs 6:9-11
I mean, look at verse 10, a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. What’s so bad about that? Isn’t a little nap kind of nice sometimes? We get that power nap and are ready to go again. So, what’s the big deal?
Bryan Wilkerson wrote about the desert fathers, the monks of the 3rd and 4th century - - they described Sloth as "the noon-day demon." They discovered that in the middle of the day, when the sun was high and their metabolism low, they found it difficult to focus on prayer and study. It was easier to look out the window and daydream - - to wonder if life might be better somewhere else.
Listen to the words of Evagrius Ponticus, a fourth-century monk, wrote this ~
The demon of acedia … attacks the monk about the fourth hour [at 10:00am]. It seems that the sun moves slowly or not at all, and the day seems to be 50 hours long. The monk thinks manual labor would have been better, and that nobody cares about him, and he begins to desire to be somewhere else and his thoughts are no longer focused on God.
In the 7th century, Pope Gregory described sloth as the temptation to take the easy way out and to avoid hard things. Aquinas defined sloth as a lack of appetite for God. A.W. Tozer described it as spiritual complacency — an unwillingness to grow in faith. A contemporary theologian, Peter Kreeft said sloth includes busyness as well as laziness. The workaholic may be as guilty as the couch potato, because their constant activity keeps them from attending to the most important things and people in life.
Slothfulness sneaks up on us. We don’t think we’re lazy or a sluggard. We’re just the opposite, we’re on the go and others admire us because we can get so much done in only 24 hours. The phrase “multi-tasking” wasn’t around 20 years ago. When we’re multi-tasking, how much of that time is devoted to God?