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 fourth child, I slowly became lazier and lazier. It wasn’t that I ran out of a 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 of 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 will find that the bible has a lot to say about laziness.
In my studying for this post, I found so many more verses than 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.
Your walk with God is THE most important part of your life.
Be diligent in spending time in prayer and reading the Bible. It will make a difference in every aspect of your life.
This Spiritual Growth Toolkit will help you set spiritual goals, and help you become more dedicated in your walk with God.
Bible Verses about Laziness
“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
If any provides not for those under his care, he is worse than a non-believer.
How can we care about someone, and say the truth of Jesus is in us, and yet neglect the care of those around us?
Caring for others requires that we are not lazy, but willing to work hard.
“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17
Jesus works, and so should we.
The work of Jesus can not have been easy. I am sure his flesh wanted to sleep in too, but he knew the work the Father had given him, and he did it well.
“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Ephesians 4:28
We should work with our hands, and give to those who need it. Not caring only for ourselves, but also for him that is without.
“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
If we do not want to work, neither should we eat. This is a bible verse that we often quote to our children, but it’s just as much for me.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23
Do everything as to the Lord. Doing it for God means we put in our best labor, and not some half-hearted, lukewarm effort.
“By much slothfulness, the building decayeth; and through idleness of hands the house droppeth through.” Ecclesiastes 10:18
Laziness produces decay. The immediate effect of laziness is not often felt right away, but the consequences are seen months or years after.
“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he begin to harvest, and have nothing.” Proverbs 20:4
The lazy person procrastinates and reaps the rewards.
How often have you procrastinated on a job that you had, probably because you were dreading it, and after reaped the rewards?
We need to know why we need to “plow” so that we will have a bountiful harvest.
“The desire of the slothful killeth him: for his hands refuse to labor.” Proverbs 21:25
If we do not desire to work, it will destroy us.
Laziness is never alone. With it, it brings discontentment, as well as the need to be constantly entertained.
“Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11
Diligence in business, but also in the small things, is what we should strive for. Let’s not cut corners, but go the extra mile.
“He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.” Proverbs 18:9
This verse caught me by surprise.
Being lazy is considered the same as being a great waster. Really, if you are being lazy, you are wasting the time that God has granted to you.
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.
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.
A lack of sleep can make your battle against the flesh much greater. Who desires to work when they are tired?
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.
A mentally unstable brain is not helpful to someone that struggles with laziness.
It’s hard to be diligent when you are going through depression.
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 perfectionists, or very hard to please.
If you feel like your efforts are never appreciated, learn to give your work to God. Tell Him that you are doing it for him.
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).
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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. Deliverance from the spirit of laziness is possible through Christ.
A healthier diet will help you to feel better. It’s easier to get your work done when you feel good.
As with depression, feeling sluggish because of bad food choices will affect the amount of work you get done.
Make a list.
Cross items off your list as you complete them.
Making a list, or doing a brain dump, can help you to get rid of mental roadblocks that are stopping your progress.
A good planner can help, but you still need to be disciplined in actually doing what you plan to do!
This Anchored in Christ Planner Can Help.
Do the chores in order of most importance.
Doing one main thing a day will give your the motivation to do as well the next day.
This way it’s not overwhelming, and yet you get the taste of satisfaction that a job well done brings.
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 how to overcome.
Cover your day with prayer. God will help you through this, and he does want to deliver you from the hindrance of laziness.
Do everything as unto the Lord, and He will bless you for it. The Bible has a lot to say about laziness, and how it destroys our life.
God wants us to live a productive life here on earth, for His glory.
Learning what hinders us, and how we can overcome laziness, will help us to live in His joy.