Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How to Overcome Slothfulness

1. Counteract slothfulness with hunger. God's Word says that "If any not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10). Adam and Eve were held to the same measure in Genesis 3:19. There is value in every person experiencing hunger, especially one who tends to be slothful.

2. Learn principles of diligence. The basic characteristics of initiative, self-direction, respect for seasons, the ability to finish jobs, and the foresight that is necessary in planning for the future, are all missing in the slothful. God's instruction is to "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise" (Prov. 6:6).

Recall the industrious lifestyle of the ant. The colony has no poor ants, because they all work as servant-leaders. Each is given this dual role, and no one is permitted to be a slacker. God has given us a role as a keeper at home/wife/mother. Are we slacking in some area?

3. Realize that slothfulness develops in stages. Anyone can become a victim of slothfulness. It starts out as latent (we reject God's Word to be diligent), progresses to initial (selecting soft choices), and then turns into disabling (a habitual way of life).

4. Learn the discipline of rising early. This discipline strikes at the heart of slothfulness. There are several warnings from scripture on the love of too much sleep. It causes bondage and can become disabling. Get serious about rising early, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

5. Learn to respect time. Realize that time is limited, death is certain, the second coming of Jesus Christ is imminent, the maximum number of productive years is established by God, and you cannot recover wasted time. Every hour that is lost is gone forever. Make a list every morning of the things you need to do that day. Evaluate how many hours you devote to sleeping, eating, resting, entertainment, and conversations. How many of those hours were used productively? Make changes in your life to make best use of your time.