8.30.2017

My daughter said I am lazy.

She wanted something.
Now.
But I was busy.
I asked her to wait, or to take care of it herself.
She rolled her eyes.
She asked again.
My response was a firm, "No. You need to wait. Patiently."
She saw my laptop balanced on my knees, which in her mind translates, "Mom is playing on the computer."
She looked at the other adult in the room and declared, with a rude tone, "My mom is lazy!"
I said nothing. But I did look her straight in the eye, one brow raised.
Her gaze could not keep up with the intensity of my own.
She dropped her eyes, mumbled something, and walked away.

I continued working. Not playing. I was preparing a devotion for the bridal shower of one of my girls. The topic? GRACE. The free and unmerited favor of God.
The Lord protected me from sin in that moment.
No pride.
No injury.
My daughter was speaking with the mind of a child. She saw one piece of the puzzle, one piece, and based all of her assumptions and judgments upon it. She was wrong in her accusation, and it was based on selfishness. She wanted something, right now, and therefore decided that whatever I was doing had no value because it was not important to her.
She is not alone.
Selfishness is a sin committed by seven-year-olds and 97-year-olds.
And laziness fits comfortably under the umbrella of selfishness, doesn't it?

la·zy
adjective
unwilling to work or use energy
synonyms: idle, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, inactive, underactive, sluggish, lethargic
characterized by lack of effort or activity
showing a lack of effort or care

"I don't feel like going."
"I am not in the mood."
"I don't want to clean the house."
"I don't want to create lesson plans."
"I'm tired. I don't want to go to the event."
Every sentence begins with self. How I feel, what I do or do not want to do. No thought of anyone else or how someone else will be affected by my lack of effort or care.

I was not being lazy when my daughter accused me of being so, but I have been lazy, and I fear I will be again. It is not a character quality I wish to possess, nor one I want to model for my children. I am married to a man who loathes the word, let alone the attribute, and I am thankful for this because he pushes me to "do" when I would rather not, and he pushes our children the same way. One of Dennis' greatest qualities is his incredibly strong work ethic. He works hard, even on tasks that shine an uncomfortable light on his weak points. Whether accomplished quickly or through unbearable hours of plodding, he stays the course and labors with purpose. And our children witness this tenacity every single day.

While pondering Ellie's accusation over several days (for every accusation should be considered in case there is a nugget of truth within it that must be addressed), this quote came across my path.
Laziness is not an affirmity, it's a sin.
It needs to be dealt with ruthlessly, immediately and consistently.
- Alistair Begg
Whoa!
Laziness is a sin, make no mistake, so Scripture must be sought to understand what laziness is, what God says about it, and how it must be remedied. And boy, oh boy, after a quick word-study it is clear that the Lord does not favor laziness! Who wants to be likened to a slug or a sloth? Yikes.

- Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys. Proverbs 18:9
- A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4
- Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. Proverbs 19:15
- In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. Proverbs 14:2
- Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him. Proverbs 10:26
- He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. Proverbs 10:5
- Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. Ecclesiastes 10:18

These are the things we need to "put off" according to Scripture. Slack, slothfulness, idleness, words without action, sluggardness, shame, and indolence. A very unattractive list, to be sure! So what do we replace it with? What do we "put on?" Diligence, industriousness, perseverance, productivity.

When I would rather sleep than serve, I pray the Lord will recall these verses to mind, and convict me to obey so I can turn from my laziness and get busy doing the work He calls me to do.
Thank You, Lord, for showing us the ugliness of laziness as well as the blessing of diligence in Your Word. Make me a woman who "watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness," for I cannot do it without You!

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men ... Colossians 3:23

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; Ecc 9:10

Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. Prov 22:29

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

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