Sloth is a Sin? Most people are surprised to discover the ancients considered sloth a sin. We might think of laziness as a character flaw or a personality trait, but is sloth a sin? Yes. In fact, in most of the ancient lists, sloth comes first! Why?
What are the dangers of sloth?
M. Scott Peck, a social scientist who has written some of the most popular books in the field of psychotherapy says that laziness is a major cause of evil, a primary cause of psychological illness, and the main reason Americans are increasingly failing at human relations. Think about it. Love requires effort and growth. Laziness keeps us from growing, and I believe on the Judgment Day, the sins of omission will tower over the sins of commission (Ephesians 5:15, 16). Jesus told many parables about this subject. (Matthew chapter 25 alone has three lessons on sloth!)
Getting Rid of Sloth
So how can we overcome laziness? Plug into the power of the Holy Spirit! (Romans 8:11) Understand that sloth paralyzes us with indecision while one of the primary roles of the Spirit is leading. He gives direction to our lives.
I think it is also important to realize our fear of failure contributes to our sloth. “I might make a mistake,” or “I might fail,” and so we choose to do nothing. The Holy Spirit helps us realize, we are God’s children (Romans 8:15). Our Father wants us to succeed, and the Holy Spirit fills us with fire and passion (Luke 4:18, 19).
Here are some exercises to help you beat sloth:
Re-Read Matthew 25 and answer the following questions.
- Why were the five virgins “foolish”?
- What excuses might the foolish virgins have offered?
- Why did the “one talent man” do nothing?
- What was the sin of the people called “goats” in Jesus’ parable?
- Why didn’t they “see”?
- Is it possible to do nothing and go to hell? Why?
- The “Seven Deadly Sins” are called “gateway sins” because they open the door to many other sins. For example, anger can lead to murder, and greed can lead to theft. What are some of the sins sloth opens the door to?
- Why are lazy people lousy lovers?
- How does sloth rob us of joy?
- How does passion counteract sloth? What are you passionate about? (Perhaps a better question would be “What should you be passionate about?”)
Laziness leads to boredom and boredom leads to a world of sin. (“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”) What are some things (meaningful things) we can do to avoid boredom?
Be a Blessing!