With the advent of the TV, computers, spectator sports, desk jobs and early retirement, we’re sitting down more than ever before in history. Researchers calculate the average person sits 9.3 hours a day, which is more time than the average person spends sleeping (7.7 hours). So that means 17 hours a day we are on our backs or behinds.
Laziness is one of those undiscussed sins. However, the author of Hebrews unashamedly discusses it. He particularly warns against spiritual laziness. Laziness is a form of pride that says, “I don’t care what others (including God) want me to do I am going to do what I want and sit right here.” Laziness is a regression of faith.
“Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:9-12
A church or community of faith becomes lazy when we allow erroneous teaching to infiltrate the church and do nothing about it. While the church may have started strong, it slowly slipped into passiveness and procrastination. Spiritual laziness is not caring about the wonderful promises we have now and later through our salvation and not protecting or promoting it to the next generation.
The best way to progress in your faith and prevent spiritual regression is to serve one another. Help one another to stand, exercise your minds, and fight for truth. That takes effort, but in the long run it will guard you and the community from spiritual lethargy. Serving one another is a sure remedy, but not the sole remedy.
The author of Hebrews has no intention to scare his brothers and sisters into changing, but to assure them of the greater hope that is to come. Better things are to come. Better things for those who wait and hope in God’s promises from now until the end of time.
Jesus is a greater hope than my hope in leisure, ease, or unmet desires. Jesus not only redeems our souls from the pit, he also redeems all aspects of our lives—our time, our attitude, and our work ethic. Look to Christ and invite him to redeem your life and to redeem your time.
Questions for Reflection:
- What are some ways Christians have become faith-lazy today? What are some examples of spiritual regression you’ve witnessed in the church?
- What are the marks of spiritual “progression?
- What can lead one to lack patience or lose assurance of hope until the end?
- What “better things” or promises we will inherit in the end?
- Who are some biblical examples worth imitating and that encourage you to have faith and patience to the end?
- How does serving one another often remedy spiritual laziness?