Part 2: Affects and Heart of Laziness

My car came to a grinding stop in front of the house. “I need to get those brakes fixed”, I thought to myself. I pushed the car door open, grabbed my back pack, and took my time to get to the front door. The sun was bright and warm compared to the damp classrooms I had been sitting in for the past 5 hours. Opening the door, I walked in reluctantly. I had an unbelievable amount of homework to do and it needed to be done tonight… but I shrugged it off. “I think I’d rather just sit on the couch and watch TV. I need a break.”

 

Fast forward 5 years…

 

My car grinds to a stop in my parking spot at my apartment. It has been a long day at work. The pressure of resolving people’s problems day after day is not my ideal job to say the least, but working for a health insurance company was the only job I could find. “Wish I would have gained more skills in college,” I find myself thinking many times as I head for the front door. My wife is waiting for me eager to begin projects and adventures with me, but I just want to sit here and watch TV for a while. I need a break.

 

In Part 1 of this blog, I asked you to consider a couple of verses from Proverbs that contrasted laziness and diligence. These verses reminded us to consider how the ant works (Proverbs 6:6-8), we found out who would be poor and who would be rich (Proverbs 10:4-5), and we also discovered who would receive a just reward for their efforts (Proverbs 13:4). In the end, we saw that we have two options: laziness or diligence. So, today I ask, why is laziness a big deal?

1.       It Affects Others

In college, I would often (habitually) come home after a long day of class and simply “check-out” and watch TV. I deserved it. This desire ruled over everything else in my heart and convinced me that is was a “need.” But really, according to Scripture, I needed to call it what it was: laziness, which is sin. That may sound harsh, but we are going to reason through this in just a moment. It’s amazing to me how such a small way of thinking had become a way of life for me and five years later I ended up bringing it into my marriage.

It was easy for me when I was single to come home and do whatever I wanted. If I had a hard day at work, I took a nap or laid around doing nothing. When I got married though, I found these habits were cutting into our unity as a couple. Coming home to another person I am responsible to lead and cherish will definitely draw out my sin. Many times, it reveals my problem with laziness. I found that I would say things like, “I need a break, it’s been a hard day at work,” then find myself hours later watching tv or doing something else, while neglecting the responsibilities I had as a husband. My sin of laziness crept into my marriage and affected someone else. Believe me; your sin does not just affect you.

2.       Ultimately, It’s a Heart Issue

You might ask, “How is laziness a heart issue?” Well, who is laziness about? The answer to that question is, “It’s about me!” I become a slave to laziness and let it rule over me.

 

While I was still in school, there were many responsibilities that Sovereign God had given me to take care. For instance, my brakes needed to be changed and my abundance of school homework needed to be done. Did you catch what how I responded though? “I NEED a break.”

Now, there is nothing wrong with taking a break…as long as it’s a break. In my case, though, I wanted to get away from my responsibilities and not have to deal with them. My heart was about me. I was allowing sin to rule over me.

 

Five years later, this way of thinking had become deeply rooted in my belief system. I thought that since I worked hard during the day; I was allowed to do whatever I wanted in the evening. Again, my heart was ruled by sin and as you saw above my wife was being affected by it.

 

Wrapping It Up

 

Are you beginning to see how critical it is for us to address laziness head on? You may, like me, see this dark mess in your own heart and wonder how in the world we can get rid of it.

 

Jesus says in John 8:34 that, “everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” Laziness begins to control us and demand obedience. Most of us feel trapped by the desire to “check-out” and slack-off. But Jesus also says a little earlier in chapter 8, ““If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Freedom?! Yes! How? By abiding in His Words. In His words, we find passages like this:

 

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than

yourselves. … And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point

of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:3, 8)

 

Or

 

“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?” (James 4:1)

 

 

Again, laziness was about me and I lusted after it. When someone or something got in the way of “me time”, I would get angry and lash out (Jam 4:2). It’s okay for me to take a break now and then. However, I must stop to think about the heart of the issue and if my desires line up to God’s Word. Stopping and thinking through my sin this way is stepping towards freedom from the tight fist of laziness. I am able to see the sin in my own heart, humble myself, and see how in being diligent I can begin to love others—like my wife. God’s Word is our litmus test.

 

His Word is the only way we can see sin clearly.  In my next blog, we will look at the heart and see how ultimately there two rulers of our heart.

 

Ryan Thomason works with Transform Student Ministries as the product development and events coordinator. He is married to a wonderful woman named Madison.  He has voluntarily served Precept Ministries for close to 10 years before coming on staff full time. He has interned with their media department in 2008 and with the student ministry in 2009. He has lived in Guatemala to learn Spanish.

“I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints.” Colossions 1:25-26

 

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2 Responses

05.17.13

[…] Part 2 of this blog, we will look at the heart behind laziness and see why God […]

05.17.13

[…] this blog, I discussed the topic of laziness and how we have two options: laziness or diligence. In Part 2, I discussed the effects of laziness on others and the heart behind it. Laziness is something […]

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