Sloth

I’ve been working my way through the book of Proverbs in my devotional time.

The Scriptures speak surprisingly often of the vice of laziness or “sloth” as the
King James would put it. So much so, that many Old Testament scholars
acknowledge it as one of the central themes of the book of Proverbs,
which is directed toward the training of future royalty. So, if you
want to be effective on the job, Proverbs offers the following:

Proverbs 19:15: A lazy person sleeps soundly—and goes hungry.

Proverbs 10:4: Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Proverbs
26:15-16: Some people are so lazy that they won’t lift a finger to feed
themselves. Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise
counselors.

Proverbs 12:24: Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.

The
words of Scripture imply that laziness is a spiritual issue. Working diligently and faithfully is a spiritual
discipline, for when we work we are serving God, not only our earthly
bosses.

For those of us who feel like we need to grow in this area, here are some steps to take:

  • Take
    a good look at your spiritual life. Matters of vocation and spirit are
    linked. It is possible that a spiritual problem is keeping you from
    working with all of the passion God wants for you to.
  • Memorize Colossians 3:17 and 3:22-4:1 and say it daily before arriving in the workplace.
  • Find an accountability partner.
  • Target
    the most common weaknesses of employees in the eyes of most bosses. In
    some workplaces, there are even acronyms used in personnel files. Here
    they are:
    NMJ—not my job
    NMM—Need more money
    WCT—Wastes company time
    PPP—Promises, promises, promises
    NMH—Needs more help
    ACD—Always complaining and disagreeable
    CWS—Clock watcher’s syndrome
    TTM—The trouble maker
    SRM—Supports rumor mill
  • Remember
    that your boss is not an angry balding person who cuts the paychecks.
    Your boss is the one who signed your eternal pardon with the blood of
    Christ. Your boss is the one who gave you your job. Allow this to inform HOW you do what you do.

Let’s also remember these words of Scripture (Colossians 3:22-4:1), as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message:

“Servants,
do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the
minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for
your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when
you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate
Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy
work will be held responsible. Being Christian doesn’t cover up bad
work. And masters, treat your servants considerately. Be fair with
them. Don’t forget for a minute that you, too, serve a Master—God in
heaven."

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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