The word lazy as described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means “disinclined to activity or exertion: not energetic or vigorous.” In the world a lazy man, or woman, is looked at with disdain, someone who expects others to do for them what they can quite easily do for themselves, a person with capabilities who would rather not exert any effort for the things that they want or need.
This person is almost always looked down upon by the population, unless of course they have an underlying medical condition, whether it be of the mind or the flesh, they are expected to be a productive member of society, someone who will assist in the ongoing and seemingly never ending continuation of the species. There are always the compassionate individuals who will provide the daily necessities for them, no matter the reason they have become lazy. The alcoholic, the drug addict, the destitute will always be with us, and the poor, no matter the reason that they have become so, as Christ said, we will always have with us also. (Mark 14:7) The lazy person may or may not be gainfully employed, do not think of them only as ones who will not work, as those mentioned in the Scriptures in 2nd Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” The any that “would not work” is speaking of a man who has chosen not to look for any means to provide for himself, this is the definition of laziness.
The word for lazy in the Scriptures for lazy is “slothful,” but the word “sluggard” is also used at times to describe this person, the one who will not provide for himself when he has every opportunity to do so. In many of our minds we can see the twenty or even thirty some year-old individual living in his parent’s basement yet, consumed by his own passions, whatever they may be, and subsisting on the provisions of his parents still. The ability is present within him to do what needs to be done to sow and reap of the world on his own, but the ambition is either gone , or was never there in the first place, life is easy when we do not have to do anything for ourselves, but that is not the reason these people exist as they do. They simply have found the toils of life to burdensome, why provide for yourself when all you need is provided. Enablement has become the pathway of the lazy.
For many who are Christians, these words have been placed in only one context, that of the world, the provisions of the flesh are the first thing that comes to their mind when they think of the words lazy, slothful, sluggard. Because of the curse in Genesis 3:17, “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;” we have been placed into a position by our Lord to have to work to provide for our daily needs, we strive from our youth until, at least for many, the day of our death, continuously laboring for the needs of the flesh. But it is in this context that many who profess Christ as Savior do err, for in the area of the world is the only place that they set the precepts of these Scripture verses on slothfulness.
I agree completely and totally with the Scriptures here as should we all, if a man does not work, he should not eat, for even in 1st Timothy 5:8, the application is also for the man who is responsible for others in his life, “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Lazy, slothful people are a drain on society and a burden to those that they will not provide for that are under their care, and when the Scriptures say that he should not eat, what the Lord is saying is that if they are slothful of their own accord, if they have the ability and the opportunity to either be gainfully employed, to grow a garden, to hunt for food, and they choose not to, we are not supposed to feed them. Makes it a little more personal, doesn’t it?
As I stated earlier in this letter to you, far too many Christians have no problem when applying these verses of slothfulness to the application of the world, the necessities of the flesh, but when it comes to applying them to their spiritual walk, they fall short. My friends, I will be blunt here, are you a lazy Christian, are you providing for yourself, as it were, and the needs of your family in the material world, but are more than slothful when it comes to the spiritual needs not only of yourself, but of those that you are responsible for. There is a roof over your head, food on the table, clothes hanging in the closet, are you rich in the world because of your “working as to the Lord,” (Col. 3:23) but poor in the eyes of the Lord, because in what matters, you have been found lazy.
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (Prov. 10:4) You toil in the world and for the world five, six, even seven days a week, and you provide for the needs of the flesh, yet in what matters, you are far from in favor with the Lord, for you have not provided what is truly necessary. You are not my friends, if you are only “working as unto the Lord” for the sake of the things of the world only working for anything of any eternal value whatsoever. In Matthew 25: 14-28, our Lord speaks about a man who gave talents, money to three of his servants, expecting them to prosper for his benefit. You do not think that Jesus was talking about the things of the world in these verses, do you, of course not, His words were meant to tell us that we have been given abilities, and the lazy man who will not use those abilities for the glory of God and His kingdom will have even that which he has taken away from Him. (v. 29)
Faithfulness in the ways of the world can in no way be construed as a substitute for the will of God, and believing that we are to work as unto the Lord in only the things of the world is not the path that we are to be on. Think on it, why would the Lord tell us that if we seek the kingdom of God first and His righteousness that all of these things would be provided for us, (Matt. 6:33) and then turn around and say if you don’t get up and go to work for the things of the world, I am not going to provide for you. Who is the more slothful man, the one who works diligently for money, or the one who prays constantly, the one who toils in the field with the needs of his family his only concern, or the man on his knees, seeking the face of God for all his and their needs.
If our Lord has given you the ability to work in the field, then that is where you should be, but if you place second His will and the knowledge that no provisions have been made for your spiritual walk with Him, then you have failed at the main task, you have become lazy in the eyes of God. If you are seeking first the kingdom of God, every single thing that you need will be provided for you, that is a promise from Jesus Christ Himself, if he takes your place of employment away from you, you will be provided for, if He decides to incapacitate you so that you cannot work you will be provided for, if you step out in faith in trust that He has called you to a different position in His work for Him, you will be provided for. If you seek first to glorify God in all you do, if your main purpose in life is to be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, you will be provided for.
A lazy man in the eyes of the world is one who is always seeking the will of the Father in their lives, they hold no concerns for the world and the path that it is on, for they know its end. The world will see them as useless, for their lives are not spent in the toil of the continuance and progression of the species, they do not serve the world first, and so they are of no use to it. These brothers and sisters in Christ have no concerns about the future, for they know that they are secure in the hands of the Lord, they strive and toil daily at the altar of His never ending mercy and grace, seeking in all they do to be pleasing to Him, knowing in the fulness of trust that all they need will be provided. There are moments of doubt, and then they remember His provisions of the past, there are anxious moments, and then they recall the love that has been shown them, there are moments of worry, and then they think on their eternal home and the One who has promised them to never leave them or forsake them.
A slothful man, a lazy man in the eyes of the Lord is one who will not first seek the kingdom of God, the one whose cares rest in the provisions of the world, in his own plans for the future, in the unrealistic knowledge that he by his own labor can provide for the needs of his family. If you want to truly work as unto the Lord my friends, your first work must be for the Lord, He will suffer no second place.
Forgive me for taking up so much of your time today, but on this subject I am very adamant, for it is dear to my heart. I will leave you with a verse from the Word of God that I am sure many of you are familiar with, it is my hope that you are truly applying it, for if not, then your trust is misplaced, and slothfulness will continue to be the way of your walk in those things that matter to Christ.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6)