As my life has played out over the last three weeks, I have been brought to that place again of “am I living as Christ would have me live?” And by that I mean, am I loving my fellow brother and sister in Christ, am I caring for and helping them when they are in a time of need no matter what that need is? Am I finding the least semblance of compassion and concern, or a sense of examining the welfare of one another? I have been again reminded that I need to be very conscience of this in my own life with others. This last year I found that I had to make deliberate effort on my part (in other words, force myself) to stay in contact and help those who were in need more often than not. If nothing else to call and say, how are you? Busyness, laziness, slowness, indolence, apathy – and YES slothfulness come to mind. The Lord has been working mightily on my own condition in this area of my life over the last year.
In doing a search on the several versions of the Bible I have in my E-sword software, I discovered something. We have converted the word sloth (slothfulness) to a (what I consider) simple word. Lazy. Most of the more “modern” versions use the word lazy. I believe I know why. The word sloth seems more demeaning than simply saying lazy. The word sloth sounds like a terrible disease. The word sloth evokes pictures of some horrible sin. The word lazy is a joke in today’s world. And yet, by very definition the word lazy means slothful. So ok, maybe I am splitting hairs here, but the point is: it is a sin, whichever word you use. For me, using the word sloth makes it more serious (and no I am not a diehard KJV fan). Lazy is simply too easy to ignore. The more serious point is: are we slothful?
This last three weeks has been a difficult time for me due to illness (pneumonia) among other things. I finally called and asked to be put on the prayer list at church, I finally emailed a friend and asked for prayer, I finally posted elsewhere on the internet of my condition and the other factors coming into play. I am assuming I got put on the prayer list (I did receive an email prayer from the person in charge of that), I did get a return email from my friend with a prayer, and one or two people commented elsewhere on the internet where I had posted that they hoped I felt better soon. So in my mind, people knew what was going on.
Well, here’s the rub. I have not heard a word from one of these people, not a how are you, not a can I do anything for you, not a just checking on you: nada, nothing! A typewritten “hope you get better” somewhere in cyber world doesn’t cut it, does it? So in my mind, especially question 1 because this is an area of struggle for me, I have three questions. The first being, am I simply not loved; the second being, where are all these supposed Christians? (In all fairness, there has been one person who has gone out of her way to help me and I hope the Lord blesses her socks off. She is a friend who has become dearer and dearer to me each day.) The third question is, when did we as Christians get to the point of thinking that slothfulness (or laziness if you must) became acceptable and normal; that it’s no big deal. When did we as Christians become immune to the syndrome of “self”? The attitude of I’m just too busy, or someone else will do it, or they live further away than I can do anything about (heard of a phone?), or I prayed when they called or emailed and then forgot about it……….and on and on it goes. Can you tell I am upset? And I am upset that as I walk this out I am just as guilty of this.
This is a daily battle for me in making myself fully conscience of my actions and my words when it comes to this. Am I having a pity party? Maybe. I just know that there are two great commandments. To love the Lord your God……..and to love your neighbor…….. If you love the Lord your God you will love your neighbor. What does love your neighbor mean?
The first question that came to my mind above was “am I not loved”? Immediately I was reminded that My Father in Heaven loves me. He is my Abba Father. Through much of my life I always felt and believed that I had to do something to be loved. He has shown me over and over again in my last 11 years of being a Christian, just exactly how much He loves me and that no action on my part can make Him do so, or do so more. That settled I moved on to question 2. Where are all these supposed Christians? That now begs a totally different thought process.
We (all of us “Christians”) are in the world. This fleshly, carnal minded, self serving society that we must, as long as we are on this earth, somehow be a part of, yet not. I watch the news everyday and I see what is going on. I succeed more often than not in not worrying about what is going on in the good old USA. I know where my hope is. Yet I too am guilty of getting too busy, of having the best of intention of checking on my neighbor, or of doing something to help someone. And then I don’t do it. Why? Because I allow my time, my energy and my focus to be stolen by something other than Christ. Because I am slothful.
Question #3 brings me to ponder on do we pick and choose what is considered sin. Today, the word sin is not even used much. We’ve translated that word to mistake. Makes it easier on us, don’t you think. When was the last time you heard the word sin in your church? Christianity is not about what is easy for us. It is about living with the mind of Christ, acting with the heart of Christ and speaking with the words of Christ. I don’t know about you, but I must repent. I must get back to the real Word of God. I must close my eyes and ears to those who preach health, wealth and self at the cost of my soul. Think about that.
So the bottom line of this big rant is. Sloth is a sin. I have sinned, have you or are you sinning in this area? Examine this area of your life. I must.