Be Still Know
READ: Proverbs 6.9-11 NLT
‘But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.’
Laziness is the subject of many fridge magnets. “I’m not lazy, I’m on power-saving mode” caught my eye and “I always say “morning” instead of “good morning”, because if it was a good morning, I’d still be asleep.” Laziness is seen as a very amusing and even desirable way of life. The writer of the proverbs strongly disagrees and points to the example of ants who are constantly industrious. “Learn from their ways and be wise!” he writes. At the heart of his concern is that lazy people run the risk of poverty and expose themselves and their family to risk.
The apostle Paul also has some very harsh things to say about laziness. In his second letter to the Thessalonians he warns the church to “stay away from any Christian who lives in idleness and doesn’t follow the tradition of hard work we gave you.” (2 Thessalonians 3.6) He had always worked very hard whilst he was with them and he is presumably referring to the fact that alongside his ministry he maintained his tent-making business. He said that he could have asked for their support but decided not to do so, so that he wasn’t a burden on them and then concluded with the rule, “Whoever does not work should not eat.”
God’s desire is that we should work hard at whatever he has called us to do. For many of us that will be in the sphere of our paid work. For most people that will not be specifically Christian or church work, but the way in which we do the work will reveal our love for God. And all of us have the opportunity of working for God through using our abilities and spiritual gifts to encourage the people around us, and to build the church to which we belong. Laziness is the exact opposite of the life that God wants us to live.
QUESTIONS: If you are tempted to be lazy, how do you overcome it?
PRAYER: Lord God, help me to work for you with commitment and enthusiasm. Amen
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