Summary: Some people go about their work with energy and joy, giving their best effort to every detail. Others do as little as they can, as slowly as they can, as indifferently as they can. What about you? Do you work with intensity or indifference—or somewhere i
Landmines in the Path of the Believer
Part 2: The Landmine of Slothfulness
Some people go about their work with energy and joy, giving their best effort to every detail.
Others do as little as they can, as slowly as they can, as indifferently as they can. What about you? Do you work with intensity or indifference—or somewhere in between?
Work is not a curse but a gift from God. He wants us to express our uniqueness and creativity and glorify Him through all that we accomplish. The worker who never shows effort, energy, or enthusiasm is not living the godly life God created him for. That person is known in the Word of God as a sluggard, and his approach to life is known as slothfulness.
Diligence and conscientiousness are important for every individual—particularly for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Slothfulness is a landmine with the potential to destroy all that we are and all that we seek to accomplish in this world.
Key Passage: 2 Thessalonians 3:6–16
1. The cautions against slothfulness.
The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonian church where many believers refused to do their part and expected the church to take care of their needs. Paul offered this word of instruction: “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. We hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies” (2 Thessalonians 3:10–11).This church had people who were contributing nothing but divisiveness to the fellowship. Every child of God should realize that he is created to glorify God with excellence in all that he does, not tear the church apart because he’s lazy.
2. The characteristics of slothfulness.
The slothful individual is not difficult to recognize. The book of Proverbs presents many examples of the lazy lifestyle. For one thing, this type of person is prone to procrastinate, finding excuses whenever and wherever possible (see 20:4). He avoids work constantly (see 6:9-11; 22:13). Instead of being industrious with his time, he wastes it (see 24:30–32).He is indifferent, neglectful, careless, and insensitive to all the activity that occurs around him, and would be the last person you would count on to get a job done (see 10:26; 19:24). The slothful person is shortsighted, never thinking of the future, and only interested in his desires for the moment.
3. The Creator’s view of slothfulness.
God regards laziness as selfishness and rebellion against Him, since He commands us to be fruitful and diligent. He identifies slothfulness as the sin of wastefulness and sees the sluggard as a poor steward of godly resources. Our inactivity and lack of enthusiasm are a gross violation of His directive to tell Hisgood news of salvation to a lost and dying world. Instead, we are to do everything as work done for Him because He expects every believer to “walk in a manner worthy of [His] calling” (Ephesians 4:1). Wherever we work and whatever we do—in the workplace or at home—we are to give our very best.
4. The consequences of slothfulness.
We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow, and you’ll reap a terrible harvest of consequences from the negative lifestyle of slothfulness.
• First, it creates problems in your life. The lazy worker has troubles at work, at home, and in every area of his or her life.
• Second, slothfulness generates pressure in a person’s life. The lazy person is sure to experience stress in their finances, job, and relationships due to their lack of care and concern.
• A third product of slothfulness is pain. Lazy people often lack discipline in their exercise and diet, and their overall medical condition is neglected. This eventually produces physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering.
• Fourth, the sluggard experiences poverty. The lazy individual faces penalties now and in the future because of their lack of preparation.
As a committed believer, you are to work with passion and resolve, even when conditions seem discouraging. When you have done your best in obedience to God—wherever you are, in whatever you’re doing—God assumes responsibility for your future and the results of your efforts. Such a realization will motivate you to carry out every task with joy and zeal.
5. The cure for slothfulness.
How can a sluggish believer find the way to a new and more productive lifestyle? The immediate answer could not be simpler:
• First, get up! As Proverbs 6:6 advises, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise.” The ant works, prepares, and provides.
• Second, go to work. As Paul exhorted his friends in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.”