Laziness is a spiritual problem. It’s also a universal problem. Even the most successful people can be lazy. Small distractions and insignificant tasks that they use to avoid the toughest tasks that really matter.
OUR STRUGGLE WITH LAZINESS
Let’s face it: it is very tempting to put our most important tasks aside in order to enjoy our pleasures. When this is a habit, we are like the proverbs’ sloth: “The hunger of a sluggard is never satisfied…” (Prov. 13:4).
We can get to the place where we do not want to do new business, and we can’t finish what we started, we find it hard to respond to God’s call; we become restless, listless, helpless.
There is a reason 4th century Christians identified laziness as one of the seven deadly sins. Laziness of any kind is a spiritual challenge.
WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT LAZINESS?
Jesus told his disciples, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4). We are burning the light of day, Jesus seemed to be saying, don’t waste what little time you have!
Jesus defended himself and his mission and said to the Pharisees: ” But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17).
Jesus went from village to village, teaching, preaching and healing hundreds of people. In one scene, he is depicted at the beginning of his ministry as a very long work day from sunrise to sunset (Mark 1: 21-34). Still, he was never too busy to stop and help anyone.
Let me clarify one thing: overcoming laziness is not about being more productive.
The biblical mandate against laziness is not intended to make you a more efficient machine. Rather, it could mean doing less. It is just a way to connect more closely with your eternal goal.
When Jesus told his disciples, “… The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; ” (Matthew 9:37), his solution was not that they should work harder. Instead, he said, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:38). In other words, the work is overwhelming, so we better get on our knees!
Laziness is very common among Christians these days, and that makes me wonder who they are? God, our Father, is a working God, says the Bible, “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121: 4). So if God never sleeps or falls asleep at any time, it means that He is always working. Jesus works with this fact “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). So God works, and Jesus works, who do you look like?
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17:28)
We are God Almighty’s descendants; we have all his qualities (creative, hardworking, holiness, among others) embedded in us; we just need to grow and develop. Psalm 82:6says: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” You see, we are all gods by nature from our creation, and we have the works of God in us.
Now that you understand that you are not supposed to be lazy by nature, what’s next? Stop making excuses to wait or try to wait for God. Throughout the Scriptures, we are told to hope correctly on God. The question comes up when people expect God to exist through them rather than work through them.
We are called to act, make decisions, live our lives and do everything possible to get us where He wants. Our connection to God is two-way, and whether we like it or not, we play a role in that relationship. We have a choice and a will. And with that will, we can say yes or no to certain things. Don’t let your fears, insecurities, and inadequacies paralyze you in the name of false “beliefs.” True faith is alive and well. True faith takes responsibility and moves forward. In fact, true faith is action-oriented, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME LAZINESS
1) OVERCOME FEAR
“The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.” (Proverbs 26:13)
The fear of failure has left many unemployed for years. Many of us fear unnecessary things that shouldn’t be. For example, it might be difficult for a salesperson to sit down and have sales calls for fear of rejection. An unemployed person may be afraid of taking action to find work, fear of ending up in an environment of stressful jobs, or fear of working hard to make someone wealthy. A talented musician could be afraid of not being accepted by the audience, of making mistakes and never passing an exam in the process. A man with a mind-blowing idea might be scared of how to get finances, and be scared of being unsuccessful.
As you create fears, you are also conditioning yourself to avoid the fears that you created. Whether you do it consciously or not, while you and I are certainly not as stupid as the “lazy man” portrayed in the Bible who invented a lion in his head, you and I could think of many fears.
2) MAKE ADEQUATE PREPARATIONS
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” (Proverbs 22:29)
If you are not too skilled in your chosen profession, get more knowledge and training that will give you an edge. Hosea 4: 6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” The truth is that most lazy people have no skills and are unwilling to acquire one. In order for you to have an advantage and have your service needed, you need more skills. Get involved, study societal needs and see how you can address them.
3) STOP EATING HEAVY MEALS AND SLEEP LESS
“For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” Proverbs 23:21
Check it every time you eat and feel like you want to sleep. Overeating automatically leads to drowsiness. Heavy meals decrease energy. Also on the anti-energy list are fat, sugar, dairy and junk foods in general. Food or drinks filled with sugar and caffeine make you hyperactive but reduce your interest in them. You, it might wake you up but reduce your focus. Remove heavy night meals or tea, except green tea.
Rather, consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables can give the body healthy energy and nutrients, and cleanse the body of environmental contaminants. The truth is, the more fruits you eat, the more productive and vibrant you will be. Remember we’re not living to eat, but we’re eating to live. So eat enough to stay alive. The more food you have packed into your system, the more work you put into your digestive system. Because a busy vehicle tends to break more than often,so also the digestive systems break with more busts than common compared to others.
4) STOP MAKING EXCUSES
“And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” (Isaiah 29: 11-14)
Seriously, many of us don’t take responsibility for not doing much. Why should we just sit idly and always complain about how unfair life has been, and that nobody seems to care? Stop complaining about your problem and start thinking about how to fix it. Nobody is responsible for your problem, not even the death of your father or mother, as some claim. Some people will look for excuses not to work; but dream every time and sit in one place and wish that when heaven is earth, things will improve. Now that we all understand that heaven is not earth and can never be earth, let’s see what we can do here on earth.
5) THINK ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7: 5)
Some Christians can use their precious time to meddle with others and gossip. If you interfere in other people’s affairs or gossip, you are probably under-responsible and inactive. The gossiping of Christians brings many problems to the Church. They create stress for real producers, pass secrets to third parties and accuse others.
Gossipers do not have a clear job description but is happy to provide advice to everyone, especially the authorities and true ministers of the Church, who do real work with sweat and love. Meddlers (busybodies who are actually idle) take caution. (Proverbs 26:16)
They also react bitterly when they think their advice is not being followed. This is why they are often gossip makers! They feel bitter about people who seem to disobey their advice and complain about it to others. They use secret information that they have coveted by all means as evidence to persuade a third party that they are not involved in the problem.
THREE BIBLICAL TRUTHS ABOUT LAZINESS
The antidote to laziness is not going deeper and trying harder; it’s about connecting more with God. Here’s why.
1. Work is a spiritual discipline.
The achievements that I am proud of have gone a long way. In those times, when the demands were high, I had to dig deep into something more. The pressure to work harder or to be stronger, even the suffering that made me go deeper. “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (Prov. 10:4).
Jesus saw his work as the fulfillment of God’s call on his life. “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34).
The why and how of your work determines your brand. “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.” (Prov. 14:23).
2. God likes work.
God created the Sabbath from all our works (Genesis 2: 1-3).
Paul (who may have been a workaholic) explains: “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” (1 Tim. 4:10)
We work hard with a purpose and that purpose is to bring honor and glory to God. Paul continues: “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” (1 Tim. 4:15)
3. We were made to work.
God created Adam and Eve and immediately instructed them to work (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). Some mistakenly believe that the work was introduced after the fall of Adam and Eve. It is not. After the fall, the job became more difficult. The work has been integrated from the beginning of life and will remain through heaven’s eternity.
When we work, not only do we bring glory to God, but we also serve our eternal purpose. Laziness kills us from the inside, not because it makes us less productive, but because it makes us dissatisfied.
Overcoming laziness is not about being able to produce more. It is about giving glory to God and fulfilling our reason for being.