30 I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
Laziness is nothing new. Solomon observed laziness in his day, and we see it today. Instead of looking at the results of being lazy, those are obvious, let’s look at the characteristics of those who are lazy. Far too often I corrected my kids for not picking up their things, but that was only the visible part of the problem.
Solomon tells us that the sluggard lacks sense. In other passages this describes a person who lacks understanding, one who does not know the end of his actions, he is destitute of discernment. It also describes a person who might not want to receive any instruction. With this in mind, let’s look at our own lives and ask a couple of questions.
First is this, how many times have we used the excuse that we just did not know how to do what we were asked to do? Perhaps we were tasked with something outside of our comfort zone and instead of working hard we decided we did not know how to do it. It seemed easier to just plead ignorance than to take the time to learn how to do it.
Second question is this, since we don’t want to be considered lazy, do we find reasons not to do the important things, the hard things, and console ourselves that we are better than someone else or better than we used to be? This is the hard one, for instead of doing something 100% right, we can find a way to do it so that we can say we did it, but we know it did not get our full effort. However, when our work is questioned, we simply say, “Well, I did the best I could.” At that level, we did not ask for instructions nor for help, we really did not want to, we were lazy of heart.
I don’t think I am as bad as the sluggard whose field Solomon passed by; however, laziness is a battle I face. I don’t want to ask for help and I want to do the minimum level of work to be accepted. As we battle this character flaw, this sinful way of living, we can look to Christ who in submission to the will of the Father, did all that He was sent to do. Jesus, in obedience, went all the way to the Cross until He could boldly proclaim that He had finished what He came to do. Then He died. With Christ as our example, let us strive to do all that we are called to do until we too are finished here.
In response to the growing alarm and panic regarding the COVID-19 virus, I brought a message yesterday looking for a biblical response to fear and to love. I asked the church to seek for the balance between preparing for protection and being loving to one another. We looked at the correlations of fear to faith and to the reality of God’s sovereignty over all things. I read an article from World Magazine about the church in China and the unique opportunities they are facing to lead people to Christ. As Christians, people who know where we will be after we die, we ought to be leading those around us to greater faith. They are filled with fear and need to know that there is hope in Christ regardless of the crisis. (The link below will direct you to that sermon.)
Have a great day in the Lord,