5 Ways to Turn Your Laziness into Productivity for God
1. Take Care of Your Physical Body
“Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined” (Titus 1:8).
The missions pastor at my church often reminds us that we must meet the physical needs of the people we are trying to reach before they are able to digest the gospel truth. If our physical bodies are worn down and unhealthy, we are prime targets for laziness to take root. Keeping doctor’s appointments, eating healthy, and living an active lifestyle are all important factors in the fight against laziness. “Many things in the Christian life that we perceive as spiritual shortcomings are, in fact, physically related,” writes Pastor John Piper.
2. Set and Stick to Some Good Habits
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).
The pursuit of holiness requires hard work and discipline. Good habits keep laziness at bay like an alarm clock prevent oversleeping. We can put simple, God-led guards over our hearts each day to protect us from falling into a lazy state of mind. “Get a robust, good, and positive theology of work. Realize that God put us on the planet to be co-makers, co-creators, and co-workers with him,” preached Pastor John Piper in his sermon “How to Fight Laziness.” Resist the temptation to buy into the philosophy that all work is toil and torture. We are made in the image of the Creator, to create!
“Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth” (Psalm 96:9).
“A worshipless heart,” Jared Wilson observed of laziness, “is a joyless heart. The diagnosis is the same for the bored as for the lazy: a kind of sadness. And the prescription is the same for the bored as for the lazy: rejoice in the Lord.” As gratitude mends our grumbling and comparison, worship wakes us up from our laziness. God’s creation surrounds us, but so often we rush through the day instead of pausing to be noticers. When we take time to savor Jesus’ work in our lives, our hearts naturally stir. Marshal Segal wrote in “We Yawn Because We Forget,” “We yawn before Christ because we do not give ourselves time to wonder.”
4. Live at Peace with Others
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
We can love Jesus with all our hearts, but we are not Him. Living at peace with everyone is an impossibility on this earth, but we can “make every effort” to live in peace and leave the rest in His capable hands. Unforgiveness, or disparaging opinions, can swallow us into the black hole of isolation. It can stomp the sense of community out of our lives. We weren’t meant to do life alone, but rifts can cause us to sit in isolation, lacking accountability and encouragement. When we continue to embrace and press into the people God places in our lives despite imperfect conditions, we have a built-in guard against laziness.
5. Keep Moving Forward
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Look back only to move forward. Christ died so we could live life “to the full.” We will continue to climb the ladder of our faith until the day we embrace Jesus in heaven. The work He’s purposed each of us to do here is ever fully completed until He calls us home. “Do not fall into the trap of laziness and apathy;” writes Erik Raymond, “comfort is a deadly compass. It will lie to you just to protect you.”
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