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Paul Tautges Christian Blog and Commentary

Paul Tautges

Crazy Lazy

Crazy Lazy is a miniature book (only 40 pages) by Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio. I picked it up a few weeks ago when I spent a morning reading and studying in Parkside’s lovely bookstore/café. The book is a bite-sized warning against laziness, counsel drawn from the book of Proverbs. The second chapter describes the sluggard’s lifestyle, which Begg sums up in 5 characteristics.

Habitually procrastinating: As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed (Proverbs 26:14). “As he is always hinged to his bed, it is impossible to get this character to start things. He doesn’t like being directly approached….He never actually refuses to do anything. It is not that he comes right out and says, ‘I am not going to do that.’ He just puts it off bit by bit, moment by moment.”

Happy with his excuses: “In fact lazy people are usually masterful at making excuses. When his laziness is disturbed, he becomes incredibly ingenious….The person who doesn’t have a mind to work is never lacking in excuses to secure his idleness….The lazy person then begins to make up absurd excuses. For example, the sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming in the streets!’” (Proverbs 26:13).

Hopeless at completing things: “The third thing to notice about him is that this individual is hinged to his bed, utterly hopeless at completing things. He begins to chase the prey, but in the course of his attempt to run after it, laziness overtakes him and he says, ‘You know, I think I will lie down under this tree for just a moment or two.’” Proverbs 26:15 provides a graphic picture of this slacker: The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. Begg quips, “Picture a guy who puts his hand in a bowl of Cheerios and then says, ‘Cheerio!’”

Hungry for fulfilment: “The lazy individual will always be hungering for fulfilment, because, by virtue of his posture, he never experiences fulfilment. His desires are always there somewhere, but he never realizes them; they never materialize….In their fantasy world, individuals like this may succumb to invitations on the television to buy dumb stuff that apparently makes you skinny and fit, because they think that if they pay $19.95 for some plastic bucket and sit in it, they will get an abdominal frame to die for….The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing. This is not because he can’t, but because he won’t.” The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work (Proverbs 21:25).

Haughty in his opinion of himself: The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly (Proverbs 26:16). The lazy individual “is hearty in his self-appraisal” and somehow thinks work will get done “by osmosis.” He “is a comic, tragic figure—hinged to his bed, habitually procrastinating, happy with his excuses, hopeless at completing things, hungry for fulfillment, and haughty in his opinion of himself.”

Crazy Lazy is a simple, biblical challenge to each and every one of us. In the strength of the Lord, may we show forth diligence in all the works He has planned for us!

RELATED POST: Motivation for Lazy Christians

Yesterday, during one of the plenary sessions at the ACBC conference, Dr. Stuart Scott taught on the process of change and the possibility of sexual purity (Titus 2:11-15). As he wrapped up his message, he summarized how inner change takes place in our hearts. Stuart drew our attention to 13 foundational realities of effective, lasting change.

  1. Change takes place by dealing with the heart (Proverbs 4:23; Mark 7:21ff).
  2. Change takes place by our new position and identity in Christ being understood and applied daily (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  3. Change takes place by a new, dependent pursuit of Christ as Lord. The imperatives of the gospel provide the framework of the outworking of salvation/faith toward Christ-likeness (Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 3:1).
  4. Change takes place by making inside and outside change more personal (Proverbs 15:13; 18:13; 25:11).
  5. Change takes place through a personal, abiding and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus(2 Peter 3:18).
  6. Change takes place by a radical treatment of pervasive sin in response to the gospel Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 5; Romans 13:14).
  7. Change takes place through personal involvement in the local church, a gospel believing and practicing local church. This is the context of our sanctification (Galatians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 12).
  8. Change takes place through an increase in thankfulness, as opposed to grumbling and self-pity (Ephesians 5:4-5).
  9. Change takes place by learning the biblical perspective of trials and suffering (James 1; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
  10. Change takes place through engagement in the spiritual battle with hope (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
  11. Change takes place through applying the personal sufficiency of God’s grace through humility, prayer, the Word, and a plan for obedience (Ephesians 6:18, 4:2; Hebrews 4:16).
  12. Change takes place by growing in real love for, and giving to, others; as opposed to a life of self-focus (1 Corinthians 13:1-5).
  13. Change takes place by means of a more prevailing hope—the promised hope of complete transformation at Christ’s return (1 Peter 1:13).

[Dr. Stuart Scott is a professor of biblical counseling at the Master’s College (Santa Clarita, CA), a visiting professor of biblical counseling at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY), and the founder of One-Eighty Counseling and Education, a ministry that partners with local churches for biblical hope and change.]

John MacArthur recently gave these words of praise for the LifeLine mini-books: “These little books are directly targeted to the issues that we all face and they hit the bulls-eye. They are faithful to Scripture and they demonstrate insight into its application. Churches need to make these available for their congregations.” As the consulting editor for this series, I’m pleased to inform you that Shepherd Press is making it easier than ever for churches and training centers to make these books more accessible, and just in time for the ACBC annual conference in Louisville, next week. This special offer includes a beautiful, free display unit filled with 64 of the LifeLine mini-books for only $199.00 (a savings of $56.00), as well as:

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