We’ve all found ourselves either thinking or saying something along the lines of “I don’t feel like doing that!” or “I’m just not bothered, I’ll do it later”.
We have those days where we find ourselves longing to ditch everything we need to do and sit on our beds and do nothing, binge watch our favourite shows or daze off into the world of Instagram.
Those days are all the more present, especially now, where some of us find ourselves in lockdown at the beginning of the school holidays. Just a week ago, we were immersed in our buzzing schedules, and now we’re at home 24/7 with almost nothing to do. The temptation to follow through with our lazy desires becomes so much stronger.
What is Laziness?
Let’s go back to the start; what is laziness?
Laziness is when we refuse to do chores or procrastinate on homework for more ‘free time’. In essence, we disregard the responsibilities that God has given us. Satan knows this exactly, and he will strive for us to waste the limited time we have and indulge our lazy ways.
In Ephesians 5:15-17, Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
“The days are evil”, how so? Hours themselves are not evil, used correctly. They are a priceless but limited gift that God allows us. Rather, it reminds us of the truth that we live in days full of evil, and it isn’t hard to see. We see violence and wars, disasters constantly happening all around the globe. Take COVID, to name one, with 181 million cases and 3.91 million deaths worldwide to this day.
Living as a Sluggard
However, it’s what we don’t see that is the real problem. It’s sin that has polluted and diseased the entirety of the human race, worse than all disasters that there has been and ever will be. But we have yet to realise this because all seem smooth sailing from our worldly eyes. As a result, we relax and start to live at ease. This is not what God told us to do. We must use our time, our youth, wisely and with care of what we do according to God’s will.
As ideal as it may seem, a lazy lifestyle is a wicked and pointless way to live. Ask God to teach you how to live for Him and to strive for a life that is wholly for His glory. God shows us how we should work even through ants as it says in Proverbs 6:6, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (I encourage reading Proverbs 6, specifically verses 6-11).
Even the ants work hard, despite not having a relationship with God. So how much harder should we be working, knowing our Creator and being aware of the endless mercies we receive?
How many opportunities, how much grace have we wasted all for the sake of our momentary ‘comfort’?
Be very careful, for to be lazy is to fulfil our selfish wants and desires. It is to idolise ourselves and place ourselves in the throne of our heart where God should be. It is the opposite of self-denial which is crucial if we want to follow Christ. It is rebellion and rejecting responsibility, wasting valuable time to humiliate God rather than glorifying Him. For it is in a life of obedience and submission to God that we find true joy.
Proverbs 21:25, “The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labour.” Laziness cannot be overlooked or dismissed.
We are all more than capable of working hard for God’s glory, of using our talents and passions for Him. Of course, we must take rests and have time where we can relax for a while. But, it cannot turn into more than that. It mustn’t turn into our everyday life of relaxation, for when we let our guard down, Satan attacks mercilessly.
God gives us work and responsibilities, and they are a blessing that is to be done with joy in obedience. Realise how fortunate we are to be able to do ‘basic’ things like going to school. While we still have the opportunity, do our best in all our responsibilities that God is glorified and his name known.
Christ has already come to earth, died, and resurrected for us. What is our response to that? Do we live as a sluggard, or will we live a productive and consecrated life for Him? Laziness stops us from doing so. Laziness makes us abandon the life God has called us to live.
We are guaranteed to have days where we are exhausted, and there will be more times like lockdown where there will be a greater struggle to avoid laziness. To fight laziness requires self-discipline and good time management, which is undoubtedly hard to learn and something I personally still struggle with daily. But in Christ, we find strength and pray that He will guide and teach us to use our time wisely and learn self-discipline.
Rev. Dr Stephen Tong said, “Squeeze your life, squeeze your time, challenge your limits for the glory of God”. Each one of us has different talents, some that we have yet to discover. Stop being slothful, and if you find yourself with nothing to do, then explore new things. Try something new, and who knows, it may be an unknown talent that God wants you to polish and use for His glory.
A Challenge For You
As we continue to spend the rest of our holidays stuck at home, we must be vigilant with spending our time and using it wisely. I challenge you to take only five days and use it as productively as you can. Read new books (if you’re stuck on ideas, try ‘Screwtape Letters’ by C. S. Lewis or ‘The Holy War’ by John Bunyan), learn how to do something new, study, help out with more housework, and anything productive. Do not waste one moment of your waking hours.
Most importantly, in your devotion during this time, ask God each morning to teach you how to spend your time wisely, that He protects you from Satan’s flaming darts. Ask Him to open your eyes that you may see every lesson and grace that He gives you, and ask for strength to keep going and learn self-discipline as the challenge may get more challenging as you progress.
During these five days, I encourage writing short notes or a diary on your experiences each day. How is it different to how you usually spend your time? What have you done? How has God led you through each day? Is there any regret in spending your day this way? Reflect on each day before you go to sleep.
Fellow teens, take the opportunity to work even harder and be even more productive, lest it is used as a tool by the devil to drag you away from God and squander our priceless time on earth.