[SE7EN SERIES] Sloth

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— Dana

Sloth. Pride. Greed. Gluttony. Wrath. Envy. Lust.

When I glazed over these seven words, I thought to myself “I don’t struggle with any of those!” Then the Lord promptly impressed upon my heart that I should re-read the list…and perhaps a little slower…so that each word could sink in.

Sloth. Pride. Greed. Gluttony. Wrath. Envy. Lust.

“What do these words mean anyway? How do they apply to me, Lord?” He gently replied, “Seek first my kingdom and my righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33) After I threw a little spiritual tantrum, I finally decided to start my very own “Seek First His Kingdom” campaign in my life. And you know what? The Lord slowly started to impart wisdom about the “Seven Deadly Sins” and how they affect me.

This is my first attempt at sharing what the Lord has revealed to me concerning the “Seven Deadly Sins.” So, bear with me as I try to convey a clear message.

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[SE7EN SERIES] SLOTH

“If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.”
– Ecclesiastes 10:18

When most people (including myself) hear the word “sloth” for the first time, they usually define it as a person who doesn’t do anything all day. I don’t know about you, but I envisioned myself sitting on the couch…with food stains and potato chip crumbs all over my shirt…eating bon-bons and watching Oprah all day. After that horrible image was planted into my brain, I thought, “I’ve never done that…I don’t struggle with the sin of slothfulness.”

Well, I had to prove to myself that this “Deadly Sin” was not a struggle, so I decided to do a little research on the topic. I found that the word “sloth” usually means physical laziness this day in age, but the original Greek word (akedia) referred to being spiritually lazy. In the “Divine Comedy,” Dante explained that being slothful is the “failure to love God with all one’s heart, all one’s mind and all one’s soul.” In essence, a spiritually slothful person is unwilling to do what God wants because of the effort it takes.

As a Christian (or non-Christian), I am sure there are times in your life when you don’t want to know what the Bible says about a particular topic, so you just put off asking or reading about it. (Sloth is quite possibly the main reason why people don’t read the Bible or other good spiritual books.) Most people are more than willing to read something that “tickles their ears” than words that could call them to action: loving our neighbor, helping the poor, telling the truth. Sloth works to deaden the spiritual senses, so that we first become slow to respond to God and then drift completely into the sleep of complacency. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want be complacent about the Lord.

So, now that you know all this information about the “Deadly Sin” of slothfulness, how do you get rid of it? Do the opposite of slothfulness…fill your heart with “zeal” for the Lord!!! Zeal is just “the energetic response to God’s commands and the willingness to follow Him.” Which is opposite of “being unresponsive to what God wants because of the effort it takes.” At the end of my research, I realized how awesome the Lord is. When he said, “Seek first my kingdom and my righteousness, and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33) he was teaching me how to take off the sin of slothfulness!!!

I will leave you with this quote I found from the “Chicago Tribune” by Joseph Stowell.

“Sloth is insidious. It whispers that you might as well do it tomorrow, that nobody will know if you cut corners here and there to save yourself some trouble, that the world will be the same in a hundred years no matter what you do, so why do anything? Sloth says, ‘Dont strain yourself,’ ‘What’s the big hurry?’ and ‘Just give me five more minutes.’ Sloth hits the snooze alarm, hits the remote control and hits the road when the going gets tough…Sloth cheats on exams, drinks straight from the milk carton and leaves exactly two sheets on the toilet roll so that it will have to be replaced by the next poor soul who finds out too late that the remaining paper is nothing more than a mirage. Sloth does slightly less than the right thing. It doesn’t bother returning something to the lost and found, but pockets it instead; it doesn’t tell the clerk he has undercharged. Sloth has never written a thank you note, sent a birthday card on time or entertained angels. All of this simply takes too much effort.”

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