Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The sluggard's character….. Part I

“As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on the bed.”   Prov.  26:14  TNIV

Fourteen times in the book of Proverbs, Solomon sees fit to warn us against falling into the sluggard's ways.  Solomon sees the sluggard as a tragic yet comical figure. Poking fun of him, Solomon says, “As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed” (Prov. 26:14).

Or, imagine someone so lazy that he can't or won't even feed himself (Prov. 19:24).  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth! (Prov. 26:15)

Throughout Proverbs, Solomon reveals to us the sluggard's character:

 He loves to procrastinate, to put off.  His motto is, "Later. Right now let me have a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest" (Prov. 6:10).  Step by little step, the sluggard gives way; by inches and by minutes, the sluggard lets opportunities slip away.  It starts out as a slow gas leak, without realizing it you are overtaken by the gas. The same with slothfulness, it starts out small but with time it increases then justification kicks in. 

The sluggard will not finish things. There are rare times, that the sluggard begins something but just to begin requires so much of his effort that the impulse to finish quickly dies.

The sluggard is full of excuses.  He's got a thousand excuses for why he cannot start or finish planting, plowing, harvesting, or whatever (Prov. 22:13).  

Of course, his excuses are just plain ridiculous.   When we start justifying our actions this should be a clue something is wrong.  Our conscience is trying to get our attention, but when we want to ignore it because we want our way, we justify our actions, sins, words………..justification for bad behavior. 

The sluggard loves sleep (Prov. 20:13; 26:14). This can refer to actual sleeping or to just lazing about, “a little folding of the hands,” talking about things of no value, watching television, endlessly surfing “You Tube”, playing video games, golfing, being consumed with professional sports, fishing, snowboarding, fb, tweeting, movies,  surfing the Internet…….. you name it and they will justify their actions and motives.  The sluggard is diligent toward folly but he is lazy toward wisdom.

The sluggard has many desires and plans and covets many things, but he will not work hard to attain these things and thus he is frustrated (Prov. 21:25-26). It is not that the sluggard does not have any ambition. He is going to do a lot of things whenever he finally gets around to it.  He desires; he covets; but he does not follow through.

The sluggard is slothful and not diligent; he does only what he has to do.

The sluggard is one who wastes time and opportunities and does not plan ahead and work hard to fulfill wise objectives.

He uses fear and lies as an excuse.  

In Colossians Paul reminds us that we have been buried with Christ in death and raised with Him to new life (Col 2:11-12; 3:1). But then he goes on to say:

“So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).   

But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips!”  (Col 3:5,8 AMP)

In other words, we must live out what we are in Christ; we must make real in our day-to-day lives what Christ has done for us; filled with the Spirit and armed with the Word we must fight the deadly sins in our own life; or, to put it another way, we must live the consecrated life.

It is my responsibility to protect the door into my heart. “Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3 AMP).

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