God demonstrated that working is good by working for six days and only resting on one day. He also created man and gave him work to do in the garden of Aden. One of our purposes on earth is to work. However, sometimes we are reluctant to work or make an effort, defined as slothfulness. But is sloth a sin?
Some Christian groupings believe that sloth is a sin. In the catholic church, sloth is classified among the seven most deadly sins. Most Christians believe that sloth is a sin of omission. Although the Bible does not say that sloth is a sin, there are many indications that it is terrible and leads to dissatisfaction and other evils.
This article will discuss what the Bible says about sloth and find out when rest becomes sloth. Also, we will see what makes sloths a deadly sin and how God feels about sloths. Additionally, we will discuss the characteristics of sloth, how to recognize sloth, the consequences of sloth from the Bible, bible verses about sloth, and whether sloth is the same as laziness.
What does the Bible say about sloth?
The Bible says that though a sloth wants and desires much, they only get little. They only get what is equivalent to the little they have done. The soul of a lazy man desires and has nothing, But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. Proverbs 13:4. Desires for good things and a good life are universal. Everybody desires the best in life. However, the Bible says that although sloths desire much, they only get little. Such can be translated to mean that a person gets only what they work for or is equivalent to their work. Since a sloth does little work, they leap little gain.
The Bible also implies that a sloth will get ill consequences. The Bible says: Because of laziness, the building decays, And through idleness of hands, the house leaks. Ecclesiastes 10:18. Because a sloth refuses to work, they should expect ill consequences. The Bible gives the example of a building that decays and a roof that leaks. Such implies that a sloth will lose what they have. The parable of the talents can support that. Jesus declared that those who have little -because of slothfulness- the little will be taken away: For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. Matthew 25:29. Note that the verse is about a person who received a talent but did not work to multiply it.
It also implies that a sloth will even lack basic needs such as shelter. A decaying house and a leaking roof are not a shelter. It means a sloth will not get basic needs such as shelter. Paul confirms this by saying that a sloth should not eat: For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Paul implies that a sloth cannot afford the most crucial basic need; that is food and hence should not eat.
When does rest become sloth?
The Bible indicates that God initiated work, and he commenced rest. Working is essential, and so is resting. But when do we know we have rested more than enough? When does rest become sloth? The six days of work and one day of rest, as indicated in the Bible, should guide our rest. We should work 6/7 of our time and rest 1/7. It means that in a 12-hour day, our rest should be about two hours. The two hours should be breaks between work. One should not sleep for more than seven hours. Therefore, rest becomes sloth when one rests for more than two hours on a 12-hour day and sleeps for more than seven hours on a 24-hour day.
However, it does not mean you should spend all your time in the office. Consider that cleaning, cooking, reading, and driving are part of your work. Also, note that when you work but are unproductive, that is also being slothful. Therefore, rest becomes sloth when you spend a significant proportion of your time on useless activities.
What makes sloth a deadly sin?
Roman Catholics Theology classifies sloth as one of the seven deadly sins. The reason is that it is the genesis of other sins. It is argued that a sloth will result in sinful activities such as stealing to cater to basic needs. Additionally, a sloth will continually be covetous because his desires for good things will remain unmet.
The Bible demonstrates that it is a deadly sin because a sloth is equated to a non-believer. Paul says: But if anyone does not provide for his own, especially those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever 1 Timothy 5:8. A sloth cannot provide for his family. Being equal to a non-believer is the worst position for a Christian. It cannot get worse than that. Because of that, sloth is a deadly sin.
How does God feel about sloths?
God’s feelings about a sloth are strongly expressed in the parable of the talents. According to this parable, three people received talents. Two of them worked and multiplied their talents. However, one of them did not work. Jesus says to the one who did not work: You wicked and lazy servant, Matthew 25:26 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents Matthew 25:28. This verse expresses God’s feelings in two ways. First, he feels that slothfulness is wickedness. It is out of wickedness that a person chooses to be lazy. Secondly, God feels that a sloth does not deserve any reward, and whatever was previously given to them should be taken back.
What are the characteristics of a sloth? How to recognize sloth
A sloth has definite characteristics, and we can identify him through them. Some of the characteristics include the following:
- Procrastination – sloths keep on postponing their work. You will recognize a sloth if they push their work to a later date, yet they can do it immediately.
- Failure to finish tasks – failure to finish tasks, even when you have time, resources, and capacity, is a sign of slothfulness. The Bible says: The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession. Proverbs 12:27. Also says: A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. Proverbs 19:24. The two verses demonstrate that a sloth starts a task but does not finish it.
- He always has bad breaks and excuses: a sloth will associate his failures with a bad occurrence, and there seems to be an endless of such circumstances. The Bible says: The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway. Proverbs 15:19 For instance, a power outage will always occur before he finishes a writing task. Traffic will often cause his lateness to an appointment.
Is sloth the same as laziness?
Author and Life Coach David L. Goetsch says that the Bible uses the terms sloth and laziness interchangeably. Those who argue that they are the same point out that both mean refusal to work or make an effort. On the other side, pastor Charles Pope says that sloth is more devilish. Sloth comes from a Greek word that means indifference, negligence, dull, monotonous, or unexciting. A sloth refuses to do spiritual good because they dismiss it as too strenuous. A sloth does not necessarily mean that a person is not working, but that they have stopped to work with the same enthusiasm and dedication they did before.
The dictionary defines the two terms: Sloth– habitual disinclination to exertion; laziness; indolence. Laziness – having or showing an unwillingness to work. The dictionary definition indicates that sloth is the same as laziness.
What are the consequences of sloth from the Bible?
The consequence of sloth from the Bible is:
Unfulfilled desires: In Proverbs 13:4, the Bible indicates that a sloth has desires, just like any regular person. However, since the sloth is unwilling to work, the passions are unattainable. A sloth’s desires will continually yield nothing.
Poverty: A sloth does not work and does not receive material gains. In Proverbs 10:4., a sloth is said to remain poor. No one can be rich if they do not work for it.
Destruction: Satan is the author of slothfulness, and anyone who falls into his trap remains long. Proverbs 18:9, the Bible says thata sloth is in the way of destruction. A sloth will destroy his work, relationships, and family. It indeed causes destruction.
Shame: A sloth brings shame because they did not work at the right time and hence have no harvest. Proverbs 10:5. Expresses that fact. It is likely for a person who does not work to beg from those who worked. Such a person is a source of shame to his family and community.
How can you overcome being a sloth?
Research suggests that you can overcome being a sloth by making realistic goals and working to achieve them. The Bible recommends making plans: The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty Proverbs 21:5. You should have long-term and short-term goals. Short-term goals should include what you want to achieve by the end of the day.
After setting goals, evaluate how you have done at the end of the day, week, month, and year. Evaluation helps you to keep track of your activities and to make corrections to mistakes you have made. It also allows you to adjust unrealistic goals.
Bible verses about sloth
Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger. Proverbs 19:15. This verse speaks to the reality of what happens to a person who refuses to work. A person gets hungry whether he works or not. Unfortunately for a sloth, food is a reward for work; without it, one suffers hunger.
The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor. Proverbs 12:24. This verse compares a diligent man and a sloth. A diligent man will always be in a position of authority and respect. However, a sloth will be a slave.
The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. Proverbs 20:4. It is a reality that a person who refuses to work will have nothing to eat. The sloth will lack even the most basic needs. They will turn into beggars.
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep—So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler And your need like an armed man Proverbs 6:6-11. The verses are the greatest advice that Solomon gave to a sloth.Every sloth should consider the ways of an ant and change his routine.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11. Paul warned the Roman church against going slack in their zeal to serve God. He wanted them to continue with the initial enthusiasm. Reducing momentum is also slothful.
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Paul indicates the harsh treatment a sloth should get. A person that is unwilling to work should not be given free lunch.
What is Sloth? It is More Subtle and Devilish Than Mere Laziness
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They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.