Today, it’s easy to be lazy in a culture that says life is all about you. I decided to research what the Bible says about laziness.
Is it a sin to be lazy? It is a sin to be lazy. Laziness causes people to stop growing. Being lazy is refusing to obey God and refusing to do everything for His glory. It causes people to miss out on relying on the Holy Spirit for rest even in the hardest and craziest of times.
Laziness is a sin that can easily be swept under the rug, but the Bible tells us that God wants His people to work hard for his glory, and to serve others.
What The Bible Says About Being Lazy
The Bible uses strong terms when dealing with laziness, some of these are ‘sluggard’, ‘slothful’, and ‘worthless’. They aren’t fun to hear, and they are pretty convicting, but they are meant to be warnings to us and remind us to turn away from laziness and walk with Jesus.
It Is A Sin To Be Lazy
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about talents to demonstrate how serious he takes laziness. Back then, talents were large measures of money, and in Jesus’ parable, a master gave different sums of talents to three different servants.
The first two servants used their talents wisely and made double of what they were given. Their master was happy with them and praised them for their good work. On the other hand, the third servant hid his talent until his master returned, too scared and lazy to do anything with it.
When his master heard about this, he was furious.
But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?’Matthew 25:26 ESV
After the servant’s lame excuses, the master told him he should’ve at least put the money in the bank so he could’ve returned with some interest. But the servant was too lazy and afraid to have done even that, so the master punished him for his sinful behavior.
‘And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’Matthew 25:30 ESV
The wicked and worthless servant suffered greatly for his laziness, which should show us just how seriously God takes laziness. Laziness is a sin, and it can be dangerous to us and others.
Laziness Is Dangerous
Whenever the Bible mentions laziness, it clearly states the dangers that come with it. This should be a warning to us to not become lazy.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber and want like an armed man.Proverbs 6:9-11 ESV
Over and over again in the Proverbs, Solomon talks about how laziness will lead to poverty, pain, and even death. God doesn’t want these things for us, he wants us to live full, abundant lives.
However, we have to put in the effort to reap the rewards and we can’t expect everything to be handed to us.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.Proverbs 13:4 ESV
Yes, God gives us grace and he loves us unconditionally. We don’t have to do anything other than believe in Jesus and confess our sins to him to be saved, but that doesn’t mean life will always be easy for us as Christians. It doesn’t give us an excuse to be lazy.
It takes work and perseverance to build the kingdom of God in our lives and here on the earth, and even on a basic level, it takes work to simply live.
If we’re lazy, it will seriously harm our lives and others who may be under our care.
The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.Proverbs 21:25 ESV
Laziness Is A Lack Of Growth
Laziness leads to a lack of growth, and just like our muscles, we need resistance to grow.
Doing hard things and facing them with Jesus helps us build that resistance and grows us in our walk with God, in our relationships, and in our work and personal lives.
If we’re lazy, we won’t put in the effort to understand God’s word or serve other people.
We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food.Hebrews 5:11-12 ESV
The process of growth takes time. If you’re struggling with laziness, you need solid food in your life to help you grow into a good worker for the Lord. This may mean getting an accountability partner to help you, or spending increasing amounts of time in God’s word each day.
With that said, don’t let condemnation overwhelm you. Instead, let the Holy Spirit convict you and ask for help so that you can grow spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Laziness Is Different Than Resting
While laziness is a sin, resting is not. God knows that we need rest to be able to live our lives the right way, and he wants to give that rest to us.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
Jesus is so kind. Jesus takes our heavy burdens so that we can take his light one. He wants to give us rest when we are yoked or close to him. He doesn’t just want to give us rest, he promises it, what a huge relief.
Laziness is avoiding work. Rest was a gift from God to us. Laziness is not from Him. God made rest to be enjoyed with him, in His presence, no matter what we’re doing.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, God gives us rest when we’re working, when we feel like we don’t have anything left, and when all we have to do is to rely on him. His rest and peace transcend all understanding, and we can access it through his Spirit at any time.
God even commanded his people to rest in the Bible, setting the Sabbath day aside. Now the Sabbath doesn’t have to be solely on a Sunday for us, but even God rested on the seventh day.
God showed us that rest is important, but work is important too, which is why He never gives his people an excuse to be lazy but instead calls them to obey him.
We can do the same now, knowing that rest and the Sabbath are good for us, but laziness is not.
And he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’Mark 2:27
We Are Called To Rest – Not To Be Lazy
Laziness is a sin, but you can rest in Jesus at any time, even when you’re working and even in the most chaotic and stressful of times.
God is offering you and me grace when we repent and ask for help with our laziness. It’s a hard thing to do, but worth it when you know that resting with Jesus and working with and for him is so much better than giving into laziness.
The Holy Spirit is always with you, and He is living inside of us as Christians. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can overcome the sin of laziness.