Lazy Christian is an Oxymoron
Laziness neglects the most important aspects of physical, mental, and spiritual care. We have been given a body to use for the glory of God, laziness erodes it. We have been given a mind to use for the glory of God, laziness pollutes it. We have been given a new life in Christ that is purposed to glorify God, laziness hinders it.
Christians should never be classified as lazy people. Our God is a God of excellence, who models purpose and stewardship for His people from His majestic creation of the world in Genesis 1, to the glorious restoration of a New Eden in Revelation 22.
The trouble with such a dogmatic word—“never”—is that we are sinners who miss the mark of God’s perfect standard at many moments in our fallen state. We are saints who sin. We are progressing in sanctification but still far from perfect. Therefore, we must consider ourselves in need of this reminder: laziness, while tempting and common to all, should be hated and resisted at all costs for the Christian.
Laziness is your enemy.
The Sin of Sloth
The book of Proverbs has much to say on laziness, identifying what has been historically called the sin of “sloth” by describing the sluggard who is always craving, talking, and dreaming with his mouth and mind, but is mostly procrastinating, slacking, wasting, or slumbering with their hands and feet. Several passages paint a vivid picture of the slacker of all slackers:
Proverbs 13:4—He craves but gets nothing because he’s not diligent
Proverbs 19:15—He is sleeping when he should be working
Proverbs 21:25—He has strong desires but lazy hands
Proverbs 24:30-34—He doesn’t clue into the need for hard work or doing the hard things
Proverbs 6:6-8—He is a bad planner, always behind the curve of what season is upon him
Proverbs 22:13—He makes excuses and blames other factors for his own laziness
Proverbs 20:4—When it’s time to grind, he’s a no-show. When it’s harvest time, he has nothing!
Proverbs 26:16—He thinks he’s smarter than everyone else and blind to his laziness
Proverbs 26:14—He is annoying to all around him because his laziness negatively impacts others
You don’t need to be a Hebrew scholar to surmise what God wants us to understand about laziness. But that’s just the poetic genre of Proverbs. The New Testament is all about grace, and laziness is overlooked is it not? Not even close.
Matthew 25:26—In Christ’s teachings, a lazy steward is judged harshly
Colossians 3:23—Work at whatever you do with all your heart, as unto the Lord
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12—If someone is not willing to work, he doesn’t eat. Stop being idle
Ephesians 4:28—Do honest work
Colossians 1:28-29—Paul’s example in ministry is an example to all workers to work hard
Defining the Sin of Sloth
Augustine defined sloth as, “The refusal to respond to our opportunities for growth, service, or sacrifice.” Robert Mangis defines sloth as, “The antithesis of worship. Sloth is the neglect of the greatest commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” I would define it simply as: “The sin of not doing the thing I ought to do in any given situation.” Sloth and laziness are scrolling Instagram when you should be working. Sloth and laziness are making excuses when you should be making things happen. Sloth and laziness are blaming others instead of taking responsibility. Sloth and laziness are letting distractions, fears, and anxieties keep you from sitting down making a plan and putting your hands on the plow. Sloth and laziness hate you and your effectiveness for the glory of God! They are lures that taunt you to nestle into the bosom of their pleasures, only to trap you in destructive patterns of idleness. Sloth and laziness hate your physical, spiritual, and mental health.