Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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October 9 – The Dangers Of Laziness

“I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.  Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” Proverbs 24:30-34

Devotional Thought For The Day

From the context you can surmise the definition of a “sluggard.” The description which follows is all the explanation we need.  The etymology of the English word indicates that it is probably of Scandinavian origin, from “slugga” to “sluggen” in Old English, meaning “lazy.”  It is almost certainly related to the term “slug,” the name of a slow moving mollusk, which term in Old English also refers to a slow moving person, one who is lazy.

Where to begin with all of this?  We all like “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest.”  We all have a list of “honey-dos” which seems impossible to completely eradicate, which grows more quickly than we can cross them off.  We all have things that could be fixed, cleaned, polished, painted, or weeded [again].  So the warning of the proverb is not just to those whose property has become worthless and who have come to poverty, but rather to all of us. And the warning is not absolute, so that we become compulsive and have to be dusting and polishing nearly 24 hours a day, and always depressed because nothing stays perfect.

Nonetheless, we have seen what happens when people become overwhelmed by laziness and disorganization, so that they are not able to make their land or business productive enough to pay the bills. We’ve seen the same with some homeowners who are incapable of learning how to take care of their property or too lazy to care for it. An uncared for home can be ruined and destroyed in a relatively short time – so that whatever their investment in the home, it is lost.

The same can happen within the church, not only to the building and property itself, but also to our vitality of faith and following Christ.  If the pastor is lazy his example may rub off, denuding the congregation of its vim and vigor for Christ.  However, many an energetic pastor has become burned out trying to stimulate lazy and uncaring Christians who think “Let the pastor do it; that’s what we’re paying him for,” who attend once in a while, on their own schedule, and who view the church as a consumer, as if it were like McDonald’s or some other business, there only to serve them.  Neither faith nor church can survive if people are overwhelmingly infected with this kind of sloth.

Thankfully, the good Lord has not given most of us more than we can care for – although our personal possessions and responsibilities dare not take priority over following Christ, our life of Christian discipleship.  Hopefully, most of us have the wisdom to recognize that we are not going to recreate our own little “Garden of Eden,” that dust and weeds, rust and rot, are continuous in this fallen world of sin. This proverb helps us avoid another temptation – that of laziness, squandering His gifts so that we end up in squalor. May He also grant us such wisdom, and such gratitude for His gracious forgiveness and salvation, that we not allow sloth to destroy our faith, our discipleship to Christ, or our congregation.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the good gifts You provide us with in this life, our property and possessions.  Thank You even more for the eternal gifts You have provided for us through Your gracious forgiveness and salvation.  Help us to avoid burn-out and laziness, and to keep our priorities straight.  Help us to provide joyful energy to our communion of saints, the church family we belong to.  Amen.