Monday, September 5, 2016

Seven Deadly Sins - Part 5: Sloth

                                                                                                 Monday, September 5, 2016
Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house. 
Ecclesiastes 10:18 (NLT)
Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business.    2 Thessalonians 3:11 (NLT)
There is a single thread running through the Seven Deadly Sins:  any of them lead you into more!  Sloth, or lazybones is the life of idleness, which always brings trouble.  We’ve all heard the old saying that idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.

John Wesley wanted to make sure his preachers weren’t lazy.  He would ask 19 questions of “would-be” preachers before being ordained.  Those same questions are asked today by a bishop before laying-on of hands.  Here is part of question #19:

Will you observe the following directions?  Be diligent.  Never be unemployed.  Never be triflingly employed.  Never trifle away time; neither spend any more time at any one place than is strictly necessary.[1]

If you couldn’t answer “yes” to those questions, you were not going to be a Methodist preacher! 

There is good Scriptural underpinning for these questions:

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.   Romans 12:11 (NLT)
Part of the reason we are to avoid laziness like the plague (beside the fact that it is a New Testament command) is that sloth is a breeding ground for falling prey to temptation of all sorts.  If you recall the story of King David getting into trouble with Bathsheba, you might remember it was sloth that started it all.

In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites.  2 Samuel 11:1(NLT)

David was a king, and he should have been with his armies, leading; that’s what kings do.  Instead, he sent Joab; he got lazy, and in his case it led to lust.  The lust caused a pregnancy, which he tried to cover up, and when that didn’t work he became a murderer, having Bathsheba’s husband killed to protect his own reputation.

In the final analysis it wasn’t just David’s reputation that died; his family was in shambles and some of his children tried to kill their father, and did destroy what was left of a peaceful kingdom in Israel.  Sloth breeds sin!

I wrote a sermon last year about sloth. (Read it HERE)  In that sermon are four pictures of what being a lazybones will do for you, or more appropriately, IN you and TO you!

You end up in destructive pride, independent arrogance, despair and headed in the wrong direction, away from God’s loving hands.

This is why sloth – and the other 6 sins are called DEADLY!  They lead to a life outside the will of God…and eventually away from the presence of God.

For You Today

So, fight this laziness that tries to creep in; fight it with

·       humility, accepting the counsel of God’s Word

·       accountability, accept help if you need it, but be genuine

·       stewardship – commit to taking care of everything God has placed in your hands as holy unto the LORD

·       diligence – never let your hands be idle for any time beyond the rest that is needed to regain strength

Be Godly, not slothful!

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!



[1] Wesley’s Historic Questions – Randy Willis

[i] Title Image:  Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516) or follower [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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