godly principles to overcome laziness

Biblical Principles in Overcoming Laziness

Looking for Practical Principles for Overcoming Laziness Biblically?

Do you feel that MAYBE you are a little bit lazy? A lot of people, myself included, struggle to overcome being lazy.

Do you feel like others get much more stuff done than you do, and that they always seem to have everything together?

Are some people just born lazy? What are the main causes of laziness? Is this just a character trait that I have, or is this a habit that I can change?

According to Forbes, laziness is not a personality thing, but rather a habit that you can change. Like any good habit, it doesn’t come by just wishing for it, but instead intentionally acting upon it, to look forward to the change consistency will produce.

No one likes being lazy and unmotivated. It sure makes me depressed!

The habit of exercising isn’t something that just comes naturally. It’s a habit you cultivate.

Brushing your teeth daily doesn’t come naturally, but doing it repeatedly will help you make it a habit.

And what encourages us to form a new good habit? It’s because we are looking forward TO THE rewards of that habit, as well as fear of the consequences if we don’t follow through.

Getting out of the habit of laziness is the same way. The habit of laziness may be deeply ingrained, from a very young age. However, with consistent diligence, we can overcome this.

I was never considered a very lazy person when I was younger. I enjoyed working, and enjoyed seeing the finished product of my hard work.

However, looking back, I now see that I might have enjoyed working, but there were also several factors that came into play.

I had the time to exercise, I was easily able to manage my workload, and I did not have nearly as many demands on me then what I have now.

After my forth child, I slowly became more and more lazy. It wasn’t that I ran out of job (quite the contrary).

Instead, it was that I was so overwhelmed with the stuff I needed to get done, that I stopped doing a whole lot at all.

Everything seemed so pointless (after all, the mess would be there again in a couple hours), that I became slothful.

What Does The Bible Say About Overcoming Laziness?

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Start looking for verses that speak against being idle, slothful, a sluggard and you end up with MANY verses. In my studying for this post, I found so many more verses then I first thought I would.

Proverbs has well over twenty verses about how a lazy person heads towards his own ruin. Other books of the Bible also speak about slothfulness.

Not only does a spirit of laziness and slothfulness affect your daily living, but it also greatly affects your spiritual walk with God.

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Bible Verses about Laziness

If any provides not for those under his care, he is worse than a non believer.

“But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 1 Timothy 5:8

Jesus works, and so should we.

“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17

We should work with our hands, and give to those who need.

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Ephesians 4:28

If we do not want to work, neither should we eat. The no food for lazy man bible verses that we often quote to our children!

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Do everything as to the Lord.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23

Laziness produces decay.

“By much slothfulness, the building decayeth; and through idleness of hands the house droppeth through.” Ecclesiastes 10:18

The lazy person procrastinates and reaps the rewards.

“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he begin to harvest, and have nothing.” Proverbs 20:4

If we do not desire to work, it will destroy us.

“The desire of the slothful killeth him: for his hands refuse to labor.” Proverbs 21:25

We should be diligent, not lazy.

“Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11

Being lazy is just as the same as if we waste things.

“He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.” Proverbs 18:9

What are the main causes of laziness?


When it feels like the mountain is too big to conquer, it’s easy to feel defeated, and just give up.

Unhealthy Lifestyle.

When your diet is unhealthy, you will not feel your best. Having less energy goes a long way towards not really wanting to accomplish anything.

Lack of Sleep.

Because who wants to work when they are tired.

Being Overweight.

This ties into an unhealthy lifestyle. When I am fifty pounds overweight, I struggle to work as quickly and efficiently as usual. This one affects me very much (I gain wayyyy too much weight with every pregnancy).

***Do you struggle with Self Control? Click here to read about becoming more Self Controlled.


A mentally unstable brain is not helpful to someone that struggles with laziness. Some people get depressed because of a lack of good sleep but try to find the root cause.

Parents that were never satisfied with the way you did things.

As a young child, you might have had parents that were perfectionist, or very hard to please. This can cause children that grow into adults that have never really learned to work hard because it was never good enough.

Never required to work, and therefore never got into the habit.

If we don’t teach our children how to work hard, there is a good chance they won’t. If a parent is lazy, these habits do tend to pass on to the children (of course there are always exceptions). 

Ways You Can Stop being Lazy and Unmotivated

Recognize its sin.

God’s Word tells us that someone that doesn’t want to work, ought not to eat.


Ask God to cast away the spirit of slothfulness.

Eat healthy.

This will help you feel better.

Make a list.

Cross off items as you complete them.


Do the chores in order of most importance.

Do a 2 minute quick clean.

If you just can’t get yourself off the couch, set the timer for 2 minutes, then force yourself to work very hard for that time. Very often, this will give you’re the energy to complete an extra task or two.

Do one big chore a day.

After our fourth baby, I made a rule for myself. I had to get one thing done that day (besides every day clothe/feed/care for the children). Some days this might be laundry, or bake something, or clean the garden. One task a day was manageable, and do this repeatedly over a month and you get quite a bit of stuff done! This helped keep me mentally healthy because I was still making progress.

Make time to Exercise.

This one might be a new habit to make overall, but exercise produces endorphins that make you feel better and can help with depression.

With God’s help, we can overcome the habit of being lazy in our daily life.

However, if not dealt with, laziness just makes things worse. I needed to manage my time better, waste less time, but most importantly, prioritize. Yes, making a healthy supper does comes before Facebook, or reading a good novel.

In conclusion, we know that laziness can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, depression, as well as never really have learned how to work hard.

However, this is not a personality trait that we can not overcome. It is a habit that is extremely worthwhile to learn.

Cover your day with prayer, do everything as unto the Lord, and become more efficient. Practice this every day and you will be well on your way to becoming a hardworking person.

Related: 30+ Bible Verses on Faith

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2 thoughts on “Biblical Principles in Overcoming Laziness”

  1. Just read your post on “overcoming laziness, I thought I was guilty of a lot of things but laziness I didn’t see how
    that one fit into my life. I have worked hard and spent my life not only taking care of myself but others as well. One day I went to the E.R. due to bleeding when I should not have been. After several exams and Dr’s poking, proding and everything that could be thought of I went through to be told I had cancer… YES that nasty C ward. That was 7 years ago, I had no idea what I was about to encounter with the radiation and chemo because no one told me it was something with side effects that would last for the rest of my life. NO I’m not crying or complaining… I’m explaining I learned a lesson through all of it, and that is when all things come crashing in on you… DON’T GIVE UP ON GOD! He never gives up on us and he always is there for us if we call out to him in prayer. I don’t know who wrote this blog or did the research on the scriptures but…
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU GREATLY!!!! You are doing your work according to the will of God.

    1. I’m sorry for the hardships you have gone through, but God is faithful! We must always remember He will never leave nor forsake us. Thank you for your kind words!

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