Surely I am NOT a sluggard?

Last Sunday’s sermon was on the portion in Proverbs 6 that speaks of the comparison between the ant and the sluggard. I found this interesting (and divine) because this is also the exact part where I stopped in the book I am reading currently by Bill Hybels entitled ‘Making Life Work: Putting God’s Wisdom into Action’. In his chapter on ‘Take Initiative’, these are the very two creatures that are highlighted. The first sections were on the usual points about not procrastinating and not making excuses (which I foolishly and proudly thought don’t apply to me, so I skimmed through them). But my attention was captured by this one small section on selective sluggardliness. Now, most of us living and working in ever-busy and hectic Singapore would probably not be outward sluggards (in fact, our problem could be the opposite – not knowing when to rest!). Yet, I have learned that even busyness can be a form of laziness. Listen to what Bill Hybels say:

“In fact, I believe that many of us who on the surface look like models of industry and diligence are suffering from a hidden disease called selective sluggardliness, a disease characterized by carefully constructed compartments where slothfulness reigns. These little pockets of laziness or inactivity, though seemingly insignificant and nearly always unseen by others, will ultimately bring pain and heartache, even ruin, into our lives.”

He goes on to say that the primary reason why selective sluggardliness is so deadly is that if other areas of our lives look good enough we can convince ourselves that we deserve to be let off the hook.

“For crying out loud, I’m taking initiative and working diligently in nine-out-of-ten areas of my life. Isn’t that good enough? What are you asking for, perfection?”

So it is with the father who sets sales records at work but fails to respond to the emotional needs of his wife and children; so it is with the mother who pours herself out on the job and on the home front but who continually neglects her relationship with God; so it is with us who fill our time with people and social outings but never tend the soil of our own inner lives; so it is with us who nod our heads and raise our hands when our pastor challenges us to a deeper commitment to God, but when Monday morning comes around, we’re back to being casual Christians.

Do I dare say that surely I am NOT a sluggard?

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~ by irwin on September 27, 2011.

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