I walked by the field of a certain lazy fellow and saw that it was overgrown with thorns; it was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down.Proverbs 24:30
Proverbs has a lot to say about laziness, and these verses are some of the more evocative. A little sleep, a little slumber—poverty. It is the reality of our fallen world that, left to their own, things tend to fall apart. We must constantly be putting energy in to bring things together. That does not mean there is no time for rest (the Sabbath is also a biblical principle). But laziness will only in the end lead to even more work, as well as pain and difficulty. Save yourself the trouble now and take the time to take care of your responsibilities. One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,and then passed the vineyard of a slob; They were overgrown with weeds, thick with thistles, all the fences broken down. I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:“A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,with poverty as your permanent houseguest!” Proverbs 24:30-34MSG
Do you want to be useful to God?
If you and I are to counter spiritual laziness, we’re in need of an assessment of sorts: Do we have any indication of how we’re doing? When we reflect on the past year, have we made any progress? Have we done any Bible memorization recently? Have we used “idle moments” to read or meditate on the word or to pray to our Lord? Or has laziness caused us to do what is easy rather than what is best and prevented us from storing the word of God within our hearts?
When asked to take part in ministry service, how do we respond? Maybe it’s not an outright refusal, but even a hint of reluctance is a dangerous sign. What about in hearing the word of God when it’s preached, when it comes home with power and impact and we know that it demands application and change? Do we take action as doers of the word and not as hearers (James 1:22)?
Your answers to such questions can help you press on and avoid the slow drip-drip of laziness (a lie-in instead of a morning devotional here, a boxset instead of a prayer meeting or a sports match rather than a conversation about Jesus there), which leads to spiritual poverty. Do not become a master of unfinished spiritual business and unfulfilled good intentions. Often, all the started plans and kind notes, and the many words of repentance and petitions for help, die in our minds while we turn on our beds “as a door turns on its hinges” (Proverbs 26:14). Flee from this behavior and instead run to Christ, asking Him to stir your heart and make you into a man or woman of action.
Do you want to be useful to God? Do you long to make a difference: to reach people on the seas of life in all their trouble and emptiness and to be part of the means by which God builds His church? Do not neglect your souls by giving room to laziness. Without diligence in your relationship with God, you will grow no true fruit in your life. “Tomorrow” is the devil’s favorite word. “Now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2, emphasis added). Be useful to God now. https://www.truthforlife.org/devotionals/alistair-begg/5/27/2022/
When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another — and ourselves.” –Jack Kornfield
Essential Questions for Thought
- How is God calling me to think differently?
- How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
- What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Father, teach us how to work and how to rest; let us not be guilty of idleness. Help us understand how to “make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). Thank You, Lord, for the promise of entering Your rest. I proclaim that I will combat laziness, being “all the more eager to make my calling and election sure.” I shall be diligent. Amen.