I hit the “snooze” button five times this morning, delaying the inevitable dawn. Putting together breakfast, I push aside a few unwashed dishes from last night’s take-out dinner, stifling a cough that reminds me I should have seen a doctor last week. I run out the door one minute behind schedule, leaving only two minutes for the five minutes it would take if I miss all traffic.
Sloth can be easily forgotten among more obvious sins. But it is listed as one of the seven “deadly” sins, and the Bible makes a clear case against it. Proverbs 6:10-11 says: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” Ecclesiastes 10:18 says: “If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.” This is not a subject that is taken lightly by the Biblical authors.
Laziness devalues God’s work. Procrastination limits productivity. Sloth adds stress when we finally have to catch up. These behaviors rob others and ourselves of the abundance that God wants us to have. The examples from my life have lost money, stressed my marriage, lost others’ favor and limited my impact. Whether we allow the good things to pass by or fail to create them ourselves, delay and sloth rob us.
The temptation to be slothful is prevalent, but it can be resisted. Remember that your life is not your own — you should work as if working for the Lord and not for men, including yourself (Colossians 3:23). Everything we do has an impact on the kingdom of God, so be ready to act. Take advantage of opportunities, work toward goals, and use the potential God has given you.
— Steve Howell is minister of adult education at Tonganoxie Christian Church.