I’m pretty good, and usually efficient, at accomplishing the things on my to-do list when I can see the results of doing it or the consequences of not doing it. As an employee, I work hard and even do more than what is required because I’m being paid. The result is right there in the near future. I also usually get the laundry done on time because I can clearly see the consequences of not doing it. If I don’t, I’ll wake up one morning with literally have nothing clean to wear. I call this category on my to-do list urgent.
On the other hand, when I can’t foresee a result or a consequence, I sometimes am lazy. Yes, I can make up an excuse such as “I didn’t have enough time” but when it comes down to it, I was just plain lazy.
The trouble is that some of the things that I can be lazy about are important things or at least things that are nice and even rewarding to have done. They just don’t have immediate consequences if I don’t. However, they actually do have consequences when I really think about it.
If I don’t get around to dusting, I won’t notice right away but as weeks go by, there will be a thick, coating over everything. I’ll notice then.
Worse than that, is when I am lazy about getting around to the things that could lead to making a dream come true. You know the things that you want to do…someday…before you die. These things may not bring immediate results or even consequences but if you never, ever get around to doing them, they will bring the worst kind of consequence – regrets.
Laziness Now = Regrets Later
The lazy person uses fear as an excuse, always crying that something bad will happen if they try. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Romans 12:11
Doing something is greater than doing nothing. The results can’t be controlled and shouldn’t stop you from trying.
Laziness is comfortable in the moment or else I would not do it. It’s much easier to sit back and watch television than to work on my dream. It’s comfortable. It’s in my comfort zone.
Yes, there are fears at the root of not stepping out of my comfort zone. Fear of rejection and fear of what people will think are real. I do worry too much how people will perceive my efforts and me but ultimately, those fears are a convenient excuse.
During the times when I have thought more about what God thinks and my obedience to Him, I have been able to step outside of my comfort zone and usually something good comes of it. Something good coming out of it is a result. I need to remember that when I’m stuck in a lazy pattern.
If all that I have to do is think about the possible results, then why don’t I always step out of my comfort zone? I fear that the main reason that I don’t step out of my comfort zone as often as I should is because…well…it’s comfortable in my cocoon and…it’s easier.
It’s easier to do nothing than to go through the work involved and then not see as much fruit as I think there should be.
When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, he also gave the man work to do and the work was fruitful. I’m sure that Adam always saw some kind of results as a reward for his labor. Then the fall happened and more work was involved to get less rewards. Fruitlessness in labor became a possibility.
I’m often afraid of the work involved when I’m not sure how the outcome will turn out. Even when I know it will be good for me and I’ll feel better afterwards, I’m afraid to start because…what if it doesn’t end up like I hope it will? Is it worth my efforts then?
The problem is that I’m concentrating so much on the effort involved and laziness seems like the easier option. It is easier but is it better?
Here are 7 reasons that I should kick laziness and idleness to the curb:
1. Idleness leaves me hungry (Proverbs 19:15).
If I feel like I should do something, even when it isn’t urgent, it probably is important and I’ll be left empty if I don’t do it.
2. Laziness is a dreadful sin (Ezekiel 16:49).
Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, as well as not helping the poor and needy and God destroyed Sodom.
3. Lazy people should learn from the ant (Proverbs 6:6).
They work all day.
4. Lazy people irritate their employers (Proverbs 10:26).
There may not always be an employer standing over me but God sees and rewards things that I do for him. He is the ultimate employer.
5. Diligent people make use of everything they find (Proverbs 12:27).
Diligent people use their resources wisely. This includes time. Time is a valuable resource. When I squabble it away, it’s gone. I have lost the opportunity to make good use of that time.
6. Lazy people want much but get little (Proverbs 13:4).
Being lazy doesn’t mean that you desire less. You want the results of the things you feel you should do very much. You’re just afraid to do the work. However, if you work hard, God will usually bring something out of it. Just be open to what he brings out of it—not stuck in your own expectations.
7. Refusal to work only brings ruin (Proverbs 21:25).
Willingness to work brings possibilities.
Stepping out of my comfort zone can sometimes feel like I’m trying to get through a complicated mass of briers. It just seems like too much work to break through. However, when I do break my own resistance, the way seems more open. It’s the first few steps that are the hardest.
I cannot control the results but I can control how I spend my time and my efforts.
If you don’t plow when you know you should, your harvest later on will definitely be zero. If you do plow, you at least have a chance for a harvest later on.
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write things that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk.com. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at www.jenniferheeren.com.
Publication date: August 12, 2015