I have come to the fundamental understanding that I am LAZY! I even googled it! I WikiHow’d the title “How to stop being a slob.” While we all joke about being lazy now and then it goes far beyond that. After much denial I am ashamed to say I struggle with the sin of slothfulness or laziness. We're past procrastination. I dream about accomplishing things that I never start. I miss deadlines. I am often late. I have a problem. Waking up is the beginning of my troubles; I am the type of person that sets the alarm 30 minutes early so I can hit the snooze button a dozen times. And don't even get me started about how much wasted time goes into meandering about the rabbit trails of social media.
I can say for certain, that right now, you are trying to come up with a way to give me a pass. "Girrrl we've all been there…" And often, I do too. I have been fairly successful. I have completed multiple degrees, I have a family and I'm in full-time ministry so I have plenty of reasons to need rest. But rest is not the issue and God has no problem with rest. He demonstrated it himself as a necessary means of replenishment to ready oneself for Kingdom Work. Yet, Ephesians 5:15-17 says do not be unwise! MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME! Why? Because there is work to be done! The days are evil and we as Christians are the only salt and light in the world.
We have such a great calling in this life and still find ourselves wrapped up in the most self-indulgent pursuits. I don’t think that the Apostle Paul is calling for us to take advantage of every opportunity by spreading the gospel every second of the day. But I do think it means to live intentionally, live relationally, and it certainly could not mean that you should spend 25% of your day scrolling through the journalistic mayhem of Yahoo front page.
Slothfulness is not a harmless sin; no sin is. The consequence of sin is always death (Romans 6:23). We are just not used to thinking about the spiritual ramifications of sins that don't make the list. You know "The List." The ones we focus on during Sunday mornings and mid-week studies. There are books written about these sins, and testimony services centered around them. Sex, addiction, violence, and abuse are often addressed from the pulpit, but no one talks about this one. This is not a "sexy" sin. It's vanilla plain. No one is getting book deals from standing before the body of Christ admitting they struggle with the sin of being lazy.
Our failure to address how the Bible admonishes the sin of laziness has led many of us to believe that it's just not that important if "this" is our sin issue. But this idea that laziness is benign couldn’t be further from the truth. At its best, procrastination can cause mental, emotional and even financial strain. At its worst, my procrastination can get in the way of me fulfilling my God-given purpose. Ephesians 5 is a sober reminder of the gravity of proper time management. According to the scripture, when we are not careful about how we live and do not take advantage of every opportunity, we are considered unwise and even foolish.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us, "For we are his creative work, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we can do them." We shouldn't simply manage our time well and get off the couch every once and a while because it’s good for our personal development. Rather, we have to remember that God has called us to good works he has prepared in advance for us to do! If you are anything like me I've allowed binge-watching, lollygagging, and the like to get in the way of some of the good works God had for me. But it's never too late to change! God’s mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) The time is now to stop being lazy and make the most of our time.