In a world that rewards busyness, it can be difficult to take time to enjoy, or even understand, the value of rest.
We may think we are “so important” that if we dare take a day off (or even an afternoon), the world will fall apart.
But the truth is, God tells us in His Word that we are to rest. But He also tells us not to become a sluggard either. So just what is the difference?
Well to start, it is a heart issue.
Those who love the Lord and serve Him often exert themselves for His glory.
Whether it’s continuing to share the Gospel with unbelieving family members, or volunteering in the nursey on Sundays (plus working a fulltime job during the week) – those who live their life to honor God have a burden for the world and seek to use their talents to serve Him.
God does gift His people with supernatural gifts and abilities, and it’s beautiful when we work together with other believers in the body of Christ to do His will.
But this doesn’t mean we work ourselves until we burn out!
It’s okay to say no to volunteer opportunities and take time to rest and recharge.
Resting after a hard day of labor is something beautiful and serves as a brief reward for a job well done.
On the other hand, there are those who seem to have an aversion to work.
They don’t want to labor hard or give of their time or talent.
Sure, they may “talk” of all the things they “will do” or want to do, but they have a difficult time starting or completing any project.
Perhaps they’d rather sleep until noon, or spend their time watching Netflix or scrolling through their social media newsfeed.
They love things that are “easy,” so they’re prone to find quick fixes to all of life’s challenges – like maintaining a healthy weight or managing one’s time.
When things get hard or challenging – they’re nowhere to be found.
The sluggard is never satisfied and is always longing for more – even though he isn’t willing to work for it.
And if you think God is silent when it comes to laziness – He isn’t.
As the Bible says:
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied”. Proverbs 13:4
In contrast, when describing what it looks like to serve Him well, the Bible describes the beauty of a woman who lives for Him and fulfills her role.
“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
When a woman or man is serving God in the way He intended, the Lord is pleased.
We can all fall into patterns of being “lazy” – and we must be careful to guard ourselves from the trap of idleness.
If you have a bad day, don’t be too hard on yourself – but don’t give yourself an excuse to be lazy or stay stuck in a sinful habit either.
Seek accountability from other believers if you are struggling, and pray for the Lord to help you fight this sin.
Rest is beautiful, but being a sluggard is not – and it’s crucial as believers we learn the difference.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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