Laziness & Discontentment – Psalm 23:1-4

Christians should fully realize that we have a Shepherd that makes us lay down, as well as walk. Recognizing the balance between the two, helps us fight off laziness in our lifestyle. “Laziness” is an overused criticism—a character judgment­­, really––that does little to help us understand why someone doesn’t exert the effort to do what they want to do, or are expected to do. If we take a moment to examine what’s behind the procrastination and avoidance, we find a range of more complicated issues but this discussion focuses on two facts: Firstly the discontentment we have in our heart which leads to laziness. Secondly the direction God’s word points us to, when it addresses people He labels as lazy or slothful.

The apostle Paul revealed a powerful truth concerning contentment in Philippians 4:11. While incarcerated in prison for unjust charges, he recorded that contentment is a virtue we must “learn”. If we live with being discontent and do not learn to be content, we will end up being too lazy to do anything about putting God’s knowledge into action. God wants his children to learn that the poorest people in the world are those who have more than they need, but feel like it’s never enough. If I can be satisfied with my income, then that satisfaction can motivate me to work in using the income wisely and keeping my income practically useful. If I’m not satisfied with my income, that dissatisfaction can possibly lead to laziness that can cost me my income one day. Remember, 1st Tim. 6:6-8 where we are taught godliness with contentment is great gain! Here is a poem to help us count our blessings, making godly contentment motivate us to work:

I WISH ?

I wish I had a telescope to scan the starry skies;

But since I have no telescope, I’m glad I have two eyes.

I wish I had a kitchen run by digital commands.

But while that kitchen’s still a dream, 

I’m glad I have two hands.

I wish I had a brand new car to give my friends a treat;

But ‘til that new car comes along, I’m glad I have two feet.

Two eyes to look to God above

Two hands to lift in prayer

Two feet to take me anywhere

Well dang!  I’m a millionaire!”

God’s word warns us about the dangers of being “slothful or lazy”. The Hebrew writer says we should be content with what we have, Hebrews. 13:5, but that doesn’t mean we are so content we don’t work to use what we have to it’s fullest potential. Jesus considered laziness to be very closely akin to wickedness, see Matthew 25:26. Because when we are not busy working, we are usually neglecting service we could be giving to the Lord, Romans 12:11. Perhaps the worst thing about a lazy lifestyle is that we end up missing out on fulfilled promises in life, promises from God and promises that other people make for us if we meet their expectations, Hebrews 6:12. Work can be a great blessing, if we learn and believe in what Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 says, read it!

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