past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was
Sluggard is defined as: a person who is habitually inactive; an idle or indolent person.
Inactive is defined as: the condition of dead matter, with no inherent power of motion or action;unmoving, immobile and inoperative.
In Mathew 25 (please read for completeness), Jesus called the lazy servant "wicked" in verse 26, and it reads “But his lord answered and said to him,You wicked and lazy servant..." and also calls the servant "unprofitable" in verse 30, it reads "And cast the unprofitable servant ..." .
This admonition by Jesus tells us that He disapproves of a slothful person. It is understood from the definition above, that to be slothful means to be lazy and inactive, however, when we look closer into God's word, we see more of what it means to be slothful.
Amongst other things, to be slothful is to:
Be wasteful: God gives us numerous gifts that are to help us do certain jobs He has tasked us with. It is our responsibility to use these gifts for His glory and honor and for common good as commanded in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 .
- Be selfish: People who are lazy are not concerned with the need of others, only theirs. Selfish people usually like to take advantage of others to get what they want instead of working for it. This is the exact opposite behaviour we are encouraged to develop according to Philippians 2: 3-4 which reads 3Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. 4Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. To honor God we must be concerned about the needs of others.
- In opposition to God's word: In 2 Thessalonians 3: 10-12, Paul encourages us to work for our keep as thus: "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. Apart from giving us the means for God to bless us so we eat the fruit of our labour, work allows us to stay away from developing sinful which thrive on laziness, such as gossiping.
Well, we can start by looking at the life of a hard working man in the bible, his name is Paul. Paul the apostle, gives us a good work ethic example. In Acts 20:34-35 he encourages us as thus "34 You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. 35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Paul showed himself as a good role model through his good attitude to work. Wherever he went to preach the gospel, he found work to do with his hands. He did not sponge of people, he worked for his keep.
Another way to avoid or shake off slothfulness is to remind ourselves of what the bible says what will become of a slothful person; the end which includes oppression, lack and poverty.
Proverbs 12:24, reads "The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slothful will be put to forced labor.", In Proverbs 20:4, we are told that "Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest." and in Proverbs 13:4, it explain that "Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper."
As children of God, slothfulness should have no room in our lives. We must bind and shake this spirit off. We must remember we have been created to do 'GOOD WORKS' for God as declared in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." To do good works means to be active doing something, that is good.
We must also remember that we show our faith in God's word through the works that we do. This means being active 'working' on or at whatever God has given us to do. James 2:26 reminds us that "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
Our willingness to active doing 'Good Works' should come from the love we have for God. We work as he commanded and encourages because we love Him.
Finally, we must remember that the work we do is ultimately for God's glory. We are commanded to do our work well, in excellence so that men will see our good work and the result them seeing it, will be to GLORIFY GOD. Mathew 5:16 tells us "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
So as we start another week by God's grace and power, I encourage us all to shake off the spirit of slothfulness - laziness and inactivity. I encourage us all to put our spirit, minds and hand to doing 'good work', in excellence and in diligence.
I encourage us to make use of the time wisely and work diligently with the gifts and abilities we have been freely given; whilst making the Gift, and ability giver famous along our way.
Further Reading - Poem - BREAK FREE