We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrew 6: 12.
Don’t you just love a lazy day or at least a few hours of laziness? We all need time to actually catch our breaths, slow down, relax a bit, enjoy the beauty in nature, and spend time with our families or friends – or even better, to have a few minutes of quiet time with God! We need these times to reinvigorate and refresh our minds and bodies, and we know that God desires that we have rest. But maybe we shouldn’t let it extend quite as long as some of us would like!
I am constantly being amazed by the lessons and little tidbits of advice on good living we can find in Scripture. For a book written so long ago, it seems to apply to us as much today as it did thousands of years ago.
God knew it would be our human nature to avoid labor – physical, emotional, and spiritual, and that we could become quite sedentary and lazy if given the chance. He designed our minds and bodies in such a way that He knew we would need rest, but He didn’t give us the resources He did – our abilities, skills, intelligence, wisdom, and life itself – to sit around doing nothing, squandering away our time and talents. When idleness becomes a way of life, it can certainly take away from His purpose for us. This quote says it well: “A lazy person’s lifestyle is so busy doing nothing that he has no time to do anything else!”
It becomes clear how God feels about laziness when you read the many Scripture passages that refer to idleness, being slothful, or lazy. From His perspective, lazy people have no value; they make no progress and no results are ever seen. They only take from others and never give of themselves.
He expects us to be active, energetic, and productive, especially for Him. He shows his disdain for “this extended state of rest and inactivity” known as “laziness” in these verses in Proverbs: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?” (Ever watched ants at work? Now there’s an example to follow, and who wants to be referred to as a “sluggard” anyway!)
Our Creator made us with talents and skills for a useful life – to provide for our families, to help others, to be good stewards of our homes, churches, communities, and our world, and to serve Him. Work can be as beneficial to our minds and bodies as much as rest can. We know from experience that it can bring us satisfaction, feelings of accomplishment and pride, and it can provide blessings for others.
God does not expect us to live as idle beings in this world, with no purpose or meaning. And He especially expects us to create loving relationships and show a genuine devotion to those He has placed in our lives. He expects the same zeal in our relationship with Him. It’s easy to become complacent in our worship, in our personal time with Him, and in sharing our blessings with others.
Love takes much effort and time – with each other and with Him. We need to seek ways to show our genuine love, kindness, and grace to those around us and to serve Him with willing hearts. May our lives be active and full of meaning and service to others as we use the abilities and talents He has given us.
Dear God, help us to use the resources you have given us to lead busy, productive lives that are pleasing to you. Help us not to become lazy and complacent in our relationships with each other, in our work and home environments, and especially in our spiritual lives with you. May we honor and serve you with love, enthusiasm, and grace. Amen