Had a question presented to me today. Interesting conversation. Very practical. This young “er” man is a new Christian; he made his profession of faith in 2011. Here is what he asked me on the phone, “Porter, what does the Bible teach about laziness. I have someone I care about deeply, and they say they ‘have faith’ and ‘trust Jesus,’ but there is no effort and no service in them.” I was a little taken aback at the moment it was presented, but in a good way. It was encouraging to know that new Christians are asking the questions and are interested in what is going on in Christianity. You see, it can’t and shouldn’t be mere knowledge that we pursue as the body of Christ — we’ve got to be His hands and feet in a lost and fallen world. If not us, who? If not now, when?
I was reminded of 2 passages that are worth exploring and citing here. One from the OT and one from the NT. Of course, it is always wise to pray and consider the counsel of God. There is no shortage of it and it is applicable because it is timeless. In Proverbs 24, we are given this: “I passed by a lazy person’s field, the vineyard belonging to a person without sense. I saw that it was all overgrown with thistles. The ground was covered with weeds, and its stone fence was torn down. When I observed this, I took it to heart. I saw it and learned my lesson. Just a little sleep, just a little slumber, just a little nap. Then your poverty will come like a drifter, and your need will come like a bandit.” (vv.30-34). In essence, it is unadvised to be slothful for it yields nothing good. From the NT, Paul writes these words after illustrating plainly that we are to live a disciplined life for the Lord: “While we were with you, we gave you the order: Whoever doesn’t want to work shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” (2nd Thess.3:10).
Our God is not slothful, He is not lazy. Rather, He is active and engaged — He is involved and He is sustaining. We learn about His activity in the OT and we see the direct, hands-on approach of Jesus and His followers in the NT. There can be no doubt that we are to model His example and be and become more effective workers. Not “busy-bees” or “works-focused” just to check off a list or send the message that we are doing something. But it is out of the heart that we are led. The grace of God, when it has its way in us, works itself out naturally. It is the byproduct of a right heart, a right life, a right perspective.
Some take grace to a dimension that is exceptionally dangerous. A few years ago, I got into a dialogue with someone who really believed that since they had received the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that works were optional and unnecessary. But that is not Biblical. You see, the body of Christ is best when each part is utilizing its gift for maximum impact. Let us continue to be a people after His own heart. Let us pray without ceasing that with passion, vigor, and urgency are consistently found in us, in our faith, and in our church. All hands are needed on deck.
Lord, thank You for showing us and giving us Your eternal truth. May it speak to us today, amongst a culture that is growing increasingly slothful. Let Your church stand out as the city on a hill, that they may see our good works and glorify You! In Jesus Name! Amen, and Amen!