Laziness is another one of those topics that affects a lot people and in one way or another we have all been lazy from time to time. In this lesson we will learn what the Bible says about laziness and how Christians should deal with it. There is nothing wrong with being lazy every now and then because it gives us a chance to rest from our labors. Even Jesus took breaks from His ministry to kick back and take it easy. However, many people abuse this by making laziness a daily event. Instead of resting from their labors, they are resting from their rest. As we will see, the Bible will show us that a Christian should not be lazy like this. As you can see on the screen we have a lazy dog, a lazy cat, a lasy polar bear, and lazy beast with a remote carefully balanced on that mountain of belly.
Laziness is defined this way - Inactivity resulting from a dislike of work - Apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue
This is good definition, however we will learn a lot more about laziness as we go through this lesson. The first thing I want to do is to give some examples of laziness.
1. Here we see a picture of man lying on his couch and his remote control is just out of his reach on the coffee table. How many times have we seen this happen or how many times has this happened to us? We feel so comfortable where we are and we don’t want to sit up and lean forward so we can pick up the remote, so we get creative. If we are married we might yell at our wife in the other room and ask her to come to the living room. When she arrives you ask her to hand you the remote control or if you have children you may pull the same stunt on them. However, if you are by yourself, you have to get even more creative, you might pull off your sock and try to use it to drag the remote closer to you or if you can reach the table you may drag the table closer to you. This is a great example of laziness because you do whatever you can to keep from having to sit up.
2. Don’t just hate how hard some packages are to open, well if your lazy you may find it easier just to leave your product in the package and use it anyway like this doorstop.
3. Painting those lines on the road can take forever especially if you if you have to move things out of the way, but the lazy don’t worry about that they will either paint around the obstructions or right over top of them.
4. Walking a dog can be a pain not to mention it can make you break a sweat. Well the lazy are very inventive and can find new ways to be lazy while getting the job done like walking the dog from your car.
5. You know you’re lazy when you get excited about canceled plans.
Now that we have looked at a few examples of laziness I want to show you that the human race has always had a job to do even from the beginning of time.
Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
The first job that we had was being a gardener, but after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and were kicked out of the garden of Eden, their light work turned into hard work, which was necessary to survive.
Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."
From the point forward there has always been work to be done. In fact, the Bible commands that we work with our hands,
1 Thessalonians 4:10 … But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
Notice the reason we are to work with our hands and not be lazy is so that we may lack nothing. Again, Paul makes it clear that we are not to be lazy in,
2 Thessalonians 3:6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
The Christian is to work
and not to be lazy and if they do not work do not let them eat. Notice, there
was some during that time that were taking advantage of the generosity of
others and as a result these people were going around being busy bodies and
free loaders. There are a lot people like this today in
Now, I am not talking about those who cannot work because there are certainly many people who cannot work and need help to help them get by. However, since there are so many people out there that are just trying to work the system and get free ride it makes it challenging for us to know who really needs help. These people that take advantage of others are going to have to give account to God for what they did, but as Paul said that should keep us from doing good.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
These are strong words that we should pay close attention to because if we are being lazy and will not provide for our family when we are capable of doing so, Paul says we have denied the faith and we are worse than an unbeliever. Think about that. An unbeliever is a person who doesn’t believe in God, but a lazy Christian who will not work to provide for his own is considered worse than someone who doesn’t even believe in God. This clearly shows that laziness can keep us out of heaven.
Not only does the Bible teach us that we must work, it also teaches us that we must have a good work ethic. I have talked to several employers over the years and they all basically say the same thing and that is that they are having a hard time finding people with a good work ethic. People are no longer loyal to the place they work at because if someone offers them a little more money or maybe more vacation time they will change jobs quickly and will continue this pattern. Also, when people work they only do the bare minimum. They will take their sweet time doing their job and if they get it done, they don’t look for anything else to do or ask their boss if they more for them to do, instead they will hide out and just wait until someone comes and tells them to do something more.
More and more people are calling in sick when they are not sick and some will only work somewhere for a couple of weeks just to get one or two checks and then they will quit.
While many have poor work ethics the Christians should not. As Christians we should put our best effort into what we are doing, whether we are laboring for others or laboring for the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might;
Colossians 3:23And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
When we work for others we should work for them as if God is our boss, so this means we should work heartily or with enthusiasm as give our boss our best effort. As verse 24 says, we will receive the reward of the inheritance, but if we are lazy we will be repaid for the wrong that we have done.
Not only should we show a good work ethic to others, we should also show a good work ethic toward God, as Paul said, we are to do works befitting repentance Acts 26:20 and there should be no lack of diligence on our part Rom. 12:11.
A great example of this comes from the parable that Jesus spoke in Mat. 25. To summarize it a master leaves 3 of servants in charge while he is gone. He gives 1 servant 5 talents another servant 2 and the third one. While he is gone, 2 of the servants work with what they have and double what was left to them, but the one talent man buried his and did nothing. When the master came back which, represent Christ second coming when we will give account for what have done in our lifetime, 2 of the servants were faithful and they received their reward, which represent the faithful Christians who has labored for the Lord and has entered into heaven. However, the one talent man represents the Christians who does not labor for the Lord and who is lazy and who will not enter into heaven. Notice what happens to him,
Matthew 25:24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 'And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26 "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 'Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
This shows us that we must not be lazy as Christians or uses excuses of why we can’t serve the Lord. Making excuses or being lazy will not get anything done other than making you face the same fate as the one talent man.
The book of Proverbs says a lot about laziness I want to share with you what it says.
Proverbs 24:30 I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. 32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; 34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
Maintaining a vineyard takes a lot of work and if you are lazy and do not take care of it, it will not do well. This lazy man had allowed the thorns to grow, the ground allowed to be covered with nettles and the wall protecting it was starting to crumble. This lazy man was more interested in sleeping and resting. Because of this he would soon be in poverty.
Proverbs 20:4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.
Proverbs 26:13 The lazy man says, "There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!" 14 As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed.
Here the lazy man is making excuses of why he cannot get out of his bed and go to work because it is too cold outside or because there is a lion out in the streets. How many times have we convinced ourselves of doing what needs to be done by using lame excuses? How many times have we used lame excuses for not assembling with the saints?
Proverbs 26:15 The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
Proverbs 12:27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting,
This is laziness at its best. How sad it is that someone is too lazy to lift their hand out of a bowl to bring food into their mouth or to kill animal and then not eat it.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing;
A person can desire something all day long, but until they work for it they will not have it.
Prov. 26:16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly.
Those who are lazy and work the system feel like they are wise because they are being provided for without having to work , but they are only wise in their own eyes.
The Book of Proverbs also shows how the lazy person can overcome their laziness.
Proverbs 6:4 Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids. 5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler. 6 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, 8 Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. 9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep –
The writer’s advice is for the lazy man or the sluggard to escape his laziness as a gazelle or a bird would escape those who hunt them, which means it is time for the lazy man to have a strong burst of energy. For motivation he is to observe the ant and how it provides for itself and the other ants by staying busy during the summer so there will be plenty of food for the whole year. This shows the lazy person that if they want to provide for themselves and be prepared for the future, they must work and not sleep their lives away. This saying reminds of the Aesop fable of the,
The Ant and the Grasshopper
IN a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”
“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”
“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food, and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:
“IT IS BEST TO PREPARE FOR THE DAYS OF NECESSITY.”
All these sayings in Proverbs show us that being lazy is not a good thing, and Christians should avoid being lazy so we don’t lack the necessities of life or lack being prepared for heaven. I want to share with just a few more verses from Proverbs that show what happens when you work and are not lazy.
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.
Usually if you are working hard and you are a reliable employee, you will be recognized for that and your co-workers and your boss will respect and realize how import of an asset you are to them. Even if you happen to be in a situation where you are being taken advantage of, you can still rejoice knowing that you are giving your best and that God knows you are glorifying Him by being a diligent worker
Proverbs 10:4 He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Those who are lazy will become poor because in most cases they will lose their job or they quit, but a diligent worker will usually excel in their job and will have what they need to provide for themselves and their families.
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.
Those who are too lazy to work are also too lazy to fight for their freedoms and they will be the ones that are made into slaves or will always be under the authority of someone else. However a diligent worker is one that will fight for their freedoms and will continually peruse to provide for their families, which means they will usually be put in charge and will rule over the lazy. I want to revisit:
Proverbs 12:27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man's precious possession.
Whenever you work hard for something, you appreciate that much more. There have been many spoiled kids who have had money and material possession handed to them and they did not appreciate them as they should because they did not labor for it. This is why sometimes you will see kids tear up the things that have been given to them because they don’t have anything invested in them. This is why it is important that we don’t just give our kids money and let them go wild, we need to let them work for it so they can understand the value of a dollar and learn the principle that it takes work to have the nice things that they do. When they have to work for it, they will think twice before they destroy the things they have.
In, this lesson we have learned that it is ok to rest from labors from time to time just a Jesus did from his labors. However, we must not remain in a state of rest and be lazy all the time. We learned about the dangers of laziness and how it leads to poverty and how it can even keep up from entering into heaven. So, I hope this lesson has shown how important it is that we don’t be lazy in the workplace or when it comes to serving God. When we are diligent workers, we bring glory and honor to God, which is the greatest benefit of not being lazy.
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
So, let us never give up working for the Lord knowing that work we do is never done in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.