Symptoms Of A Sluggard

Who doesn’t love a lazy day? We should all take time to personally recharge, spend time with family or just do nothing. Those days can be few and far between to say the least. We all need respite in the middle of our never-ending schedules and should make it a priority. But when that mentality creeps into every day of the week we can have a problem. In contrast to God-honoring Sabbath rest, laziness puts us on the throne of our own lives as kings and queens of comfort. Instead of slowing down to refocus and reflect, the sluggard halts completely to recoil from life, responsibility and action. With that in mind, here are 4 symptoms of a sluggard from Proverbs 26.

1 – Making Excuses

[13] The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!”

Danger does exist in the world. However, the sluggard uses the remote possibility of any possible danger as an excuse to not act. This is not an honest concern, but an excuse for laziness. Rather than trusting God with what the day holds with all it’s unknowns, he or she takes the risk out of the equation by choosing laziness and comfort. While we may not actually have lions in our roadways, our hearts invent many outlandish, unreasonable excuses for not pursuing God’s desire for us out in the world.

2 – Staying in Bed

 [14] As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.

Before our feet hit the floor each day we have already made a decision. We have answered the first question of the day:  Will we get up? This can be the most important decision of the day. It can be a reflection on what we believe about our time, our urgency and who commands the universe. Is His plan worth getting up for? Consider what is written in Proverbs 6:9-11:

    [9] How long will you lie there, O sluggard?

        When will you arise from your sleep?

    [10] A little sleep, a little slumber,

        a little folding of the hands to rest,

    [11] and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

        and want like an armed man.

The end result of sluggishness is poverty and want. Get up and get going.

3 – Feeding The Beast

[15] The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.

Ironically, while the sluggard makes excuses to stay at home lounging, he suddenly has amazing strength to feed himself. He will wear himself out in bringing food to his mouth. The flesh desires food, comfort and every earthly thing. It is a beast that cannot be appeased. Gorging our flesh will bring short-term satisfaction and will always leave us wanting more. Thankfully, there is One who will always satisfy and fill us. And He isn’t found on a dish.

4 – Being Wise In Your Own Eyes

[16] The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

The ignorant are ignorant of their own ignorance.

After all of this, the sluggard’s inaction and laziness causes his mind to justify and rationalize his methods. He is so lazy that he cannot even think of learning or obtaining knowledge. Instead he figures himself as wise in his own eyes. Back in verse 12 the writer says that there is more hope for a fool than one who thinks this way.

When we see hints of sluggishness creeping into our lives we should be diligent to name it and repent. May we not confuse rest with laziness. Let us always be on guard against the comforts of the flesh and alive to the call of the Spirit. Venture outside your walls and embrace the exciting journey God has in store.

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