Monday, November 2, 2009

Symptoms of Slothfulness

These principles generally apply to men, but we can gain something by knowing the principles.

1. He does not believe he is slothful. He is willing to work if there weren't so many obstacles in his way. He has a list of reasons why he's unable to start projects. He has another list that explains why he can't work.
"The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men that can render a reason" (Prov. 26:16).

2. He makes soft choices in life. Slothfulness comes on over time gradually. These little choices are carefully reasoned and become a habit. They start by staying in bed a little longer, take periods of rest during the day, spend time in idle chatter, procrastinate about doing a job that has needed to be done...Soon these soft choices become a habit for life.
"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." (Prov. 6:10-11).

3. He does not value the importance of time or seasons. To him, one day is as good as the next. His basic philosophy is to live for the moment and let the future take care of itself. The sluggard loses the freedom to make his own choices and becomes a slave of the diligent, by whose industry he will be kept alive.
"The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute" (Prov. 12:24).

4. He will not finish tasks. His life is a string of unfinished projects. If he is visited by success, he doesn't recognize it. Even the maintenance of finished projects becomes a burden.
"By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idelness of the hands the house droppeth through" (Ecc. 10:18).
"I went by the field of the slothful...And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down" (Prov. 24:30-31).

5. He lives in a world of wishful thinking. When the slothful man is not sleeping, he is desiring to do things and get things. The tension between his restless mind and his inactive body produces destructive frustrations.
"The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long..."(Prov. 21:25-26)
His desires are also destructive because they are relatated to his own sensual pleasures. These indulgences in turn produce more laziness.
"A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again" (Prov. 19:24).

6. He brings damage to his employers. He has lack of initiative and follow-through, so it becomes costly to his employer. When they find they can't depend upon him, he's transferred into another job. This leads to his discontentment and damages his self-esteem, which causes him to come up with more excuses.
"He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster" (Prov. 18:9)

7. He is the victim of self-induced fears. Slothfulness results in fears, which are reinforced by more slothfulness. He knows he must have a source of food, so he will depend upon others to provide it. His lack of food is a result of his soft choices, and his fears will rationalize those choices.
"The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets" (Prov. 22:13).

These principles can be applied to the keeper at home. Ask yourself:

1. Do you intentionally avoid housework?
2. Do you avoid pressure in your life?
3. Do you find every task a struggle?
4. Do you tend to leave tasks incomplete or unfinished?
5. Do you neglect house repairs?
6. Do you neglect your hygiene?
7. Do you sleep ten or more hours a day?
8. Do you have a life filled with wishful thinking, but do little to make it happen?
9. Do you make excuses for your lethargy?
10. Is your life filled with a series of easy choices?

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