The Sin of Sloth

“Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

Proverbs 27:1  


With all the news surrounding the recent spike in the COVID-19 virus and many wondering if we need to hit the stores again and stock up. I read with interest Jesus words in Luke 12:16-21, “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." 'But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

What constitutes a wasted life? The Bible has much to say about time and our use of it. That question was going through my mind as I drove home from a memorial service I performed where the person who passed away was said to be someone who believed in God but was considered “non religious” by their family and friends. They each said the deceased “believed in God” but that they weren’t a “practicing Christian.” I couldn’t help but think, is there truly such a thing? Jesus Himself said that a tree is known by its fruit not by its profession.

No one works their way into heaven as heaven is a free gift to all who receive it, and yet the Bible makes clear that a person who becomes a follower of Jesus experiences transformation from our old selfish way of thinking and doing. As true believers and followers of Christ we no longer live for ourselves but for God who loved us and gave Himself for us. As I was leaving the mortuary after the service a quote I once read came to mind, “If you were on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?” I was saddened by the thought that if I were on the jury of this persons trial to determine if there was enough evidence to convict them of being a “practicing Christian” I had not heard one thing, not a single thing that even gave me a glimmer of hope that they knew Jesus as their personal Savior.

Sadly, through the years I have heard many family members say of their deceased loved one that they too were a “non practicing believer” so I try to always listen with interest as those gathered at the service share about the persons life to see if maybe they were one of those amazing people most of us only read about in books whose devotion to the Lord is discovered only after they are gone because they did their charitable deeds in secret. You know the type, the person who for years secretly dropped off food each week without fail to widowed neighbors or who served at a rest home all the way on the other side of town reading to the elderly each week who had no one coming by to visit with them. Or, how about the mom and dad with six children of their own who through the years took in countless foster children to provide for them a loving home environment? I once heard of a man who loaned his only car to his neighbor to use during the week because there was no public transportation to get his neighbor to his job just outside of town. Though not as many as I would hope, I have heard some truly heartwarming and uplifting testimonies over the years of people who lived life to the fullest and squeezed every last drop out of their lives this side of heaven for the glory of God.

Funerals serve as a great reminder to us all regarding the brevity of life. None of us knows when the sand in our hour glass is going to run out and is why we should not put off until tomorrow what God has called us to do today. Here is a thought I read just this week that really spoke to and convicted me. The quote read, “Procrastination is the arrogant assumption that God is going to give you more time to accomplish what He called you to do today.” It’s no wonder that one of the devils favorite words is “tomorrow” for that very reason. Even the devil knows that if we are slothful and say we will get around to tomorrow what the Lord has called us to today that eventually we won’t get another tomorrow and the thing that the Lord has called us to won’t get done by us at all.

What if you knew today was the last day of your life? How would you live it? What would you do and who would you do it for? Let those thoughts help shape the choices you make today and every day, knowing we are all on borrowed time as it were. Don’t put off until tomorrow what the Lord has called you to do today. Stay busy until quitting time one of my favorite pastors was fond of saying. Live life to the fullest. Seize the day as the old saying goes. Tap into the Lord’s plan for your life knowing you will be so glad one day that you did!

 
“His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

Matthew 25:21

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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