Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sloth (Laziness) vs. Diligence (Self Discipline)

Sloth (Laziness) vs Diligence (Self Discipline)
Deadly Sin and Heavenly Virtue

“ The soul of the sluggard craves in vain, but the diligent soul is amply satisfied. ” Proverbs 13:4

“In the seedtime the sluggard plows not; when he looks for the harvest, it is not there.” Prov. 20:4

"Anything you can turn your hand to, do with what power you have" Ecclesiasstes 9:10

“When hands are lazy, the rafters sag; when hands are slack, the house leaks.” Eccl. 10:18

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God."  1 Cor. 10:31

Sloth is the failure to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. It is the deadly sin of avoiding physical and spiritual work. Physical sloth includes laziness and procrastination. It is not doing things at the proper time.  Procrastinating is not getting around to doing things and  leads you to have excuses. Sloth can also mean spiritual laziness in our relationship with God. It is about not caring about the things that should matter and that are meaningful to the soul. It is also failing to seek the spiritual growth that God calls you to and not making good use of the talents God has given you. Being busy all the time may even be more of a deadly sin than “doing nothing.” Have you heard yourself ever breathe these words?:
  • What fun is that?
  • I shouldn’t have to do it.
  • This is boring.
  • Do I have to say my prayers?
  • I’ll do it, I’ll do it!
  • Why does Mom always have to be such a nag?
  • Hang on mom, I'll do it after.
  • I don't feel like it.
  • I'll do it tomorrow?

When your parents ask you to do them a favor or help out around the house, they don't want to give you an extra 15 minutes to finish that last level of Super Mario Brothers.  It may be easy for you to see how your dad never gets around to do what he promised you, but do you see the same sin in your own life? Did you know that when you are lazy, you are committing acts of selfishness, extreme arrogance and irresponsiblity?

Responsibility is doing what is expected of you. Work is not being lazy, but doing the tasks God gives you.  If you put off the voice from heaven telling you what God’s will is, then that is sloth. Even Peter, James and John did not remain with Jesus and stay awake with Him in the Garden. Jesus could not rely on them and they let Jesus down. You may wait to do your chores or school work and decide to take a break or figure you’ll just do it in the morning. If this is the case, you are just plain lazy and if you don’t correct it, it may become part of your character. You become a real slacker. 

You may put off making commitments and living life to the fullest. You may have every excuse in the book, "When I get out of school, then I'll commit my life to God" or "As soon as I have some money, my life will change."  You may have no time to even think or listen. We know what God wants us to do, but we pause and make an excuse.  You shouldn't make excuses and waste you life by putting off the important long-term priorities for the less important short-term ones.  You need to hear God’s will and hear what others need.  You may need to give advice or  listen instead of talking. You might need to listen and rest instead of being on the move. You have a responsibility to God to make use of the gifts He has given to you.

Diligence is the virtue and the opposite of sloth. You need to have the kind of self-discipline that does not wait to be asked to serve, that does not need to be reminded a second time even when you’d rather be lying down on the couch in front of the TV.  God wants you to be diligent in taking care of your soul. That means you need to pray and learn about God. Sometimes you are so busy and your lives are filled with distractions and interruptions with noise, that you do not listen to God.   You should set your heart on making the most of the time you have, so you need to evaluate your priorities.

You need to put God first in your life instead of filling your life up with so much busyness or activities where you don’t have anything left over for God.  Otherwise, this may lead you into temptations and give you no time to serve others. If you fill your life with things that are not important or are low priority commitments, you don’t even have the energy left for those closest to you. You shouldn't waste time or effort on things that don’t really matter. You should not be lazy about making, maintaining or deepening relationships since these are the things that you should value and give your effort toward. So take action in the present moment and spend your time more wisely in loving and serving God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength. God has called you. He has something for you to do. How are you spending your time? Are you productively making a positive difference with your life? Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You can choose to make it a wonderful day with God.  So rise up and do it!

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly what I was looking for!!! I am teaching a lesson on Industry this evening to my Little Flowers group and this is perfect. Thank you!