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What does the Bible say about laziness?

“I’m too tired! I don’t feel like it! I don’t want to!”

How many times have you said these words? We know we have. Let’s admit it—we all have days when we just want to sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing. We surf through Netflix, binge our favorite shows, or fall into the black hole that is TikTok. That's fine for like a day here and there, but if this is the mindset that we have every day, that's evidence of a laziness problem.

Not wanting to do schoolwork, not wanting to do chores, not wanting to help others—basically a disregard of responsiblities—are all due to an attitude of laziness. We can all agree that too much laziness is a bad thing, right? But does the Bible talk about laziness? Can the Bible help us overcome lazy tendencies and desires? Yes, and yes!

Go to the Ant!

Ants work hard, and the Bible says we should be like the ants. Wait...what? Yep—just hear us out. Proverbs 6:6 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Ants are hard workers, and we should be too. As Christians, we are to work at whatever we are doing as if we are serving the Lord Himself (Colossians 3:23-24). This leaves no excuse for laziness.

Proverbs has a wealth of things to say about laziness. Spoiler alert: Nothing good is ever said about a lazy person or laziness in general. In Proverbs, a “sluggard” refers to a lazy person. Lazy people make excuses (Proverbs 26:13), waste time (Proverbs 18:9), and hate to work (Proverbs 21:25). Lazy people love to stay in their beds, going nowhere (Proverbs 26:14). They often consider themselves wise when they're actually not (Proverbs 26:16).

The Bible tells us that those who indulge in laziness don't have a bright future, as continued laziness causes a person to fall into debt, which leads to poverty (Proverbs 13:4, 11). It makes sense, right? If we spend all our time making excuses, wasting opportunities, sleeping the day away, and refusing to work, then poverty is inevitable.

Laziness is not part of God’s plan for our lives. Let’s not be like the "sluggard." Instead, let’s be like hardworking ants, whose lives have purpose and meaning.

No More Laziness

God does not approve of regular laziness. A lifestyle of laziness is a sin because God created man to work and be productive. "Work" doesn't just refer to a job you're paid to do, but it also includes actively living a life that honors Christ. Sometimes new Christians think that since we're saved by grace, we don’t have to live a productive life. They make the argument, “Well, I’ve been saved by grace through faith, so nothing else is required. I've got my golden ticket to Heaven, so I can sit tight, chill, and do what I want.”

This mentality is wrong and should not be a part of any believer's life philosophy. We are not to become idle or use God’s gift of salvation as an excuse to be lazy. Bearing the fruit of good works for God is a natural part of our Christian walk (Ephesians 2:10). Our good works don’t save us, as salvation is always by faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), but good works are a result of the transformation that is being done in our lives by the Holy Spirit living inside of us (2 Corinthians 5:17).

#productive

When we work and do things for God and others, we will be more productive with time given to us (Ephesians 5:15-17). Jesus died, was buried, and came back to life for US. Our response to His sacrifice ought to be living a holy and productive life for Him. How can we impact the world for Christ if we're always at home chillin'? How can we share the love of Christ to others if we're constantly scrolling through Instagram and TikTok? The answer is: we can’t. Laziness robs us of the life God has called us to live.

Working a job isn't a bad thing. In our culture today, a lot of people dread the thought of going into work every day. But it doesn't need to be that way. Whether we're working a job we love or not, we can still serve God through it. The Bible is clear about a person who refuses to work: “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). Wow. Just wow.

When we're working, serving, and being productive, we have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the world and people around us. Hebrews 6:10 tells us, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Even if we feel like nobody is taking notice of our hard work, we can still be encouraged that God sees our work (Galatians 6:9-10). Nothing we do for God is ever pointless (1 Corinthians 15:58).

The Final Verdict

Laziness should not become a regular practice of a Christ-follower. We cannot serve the Lord with our whole heart if we're wasting time, refusing to work, sleeping the day away, and making excuses to get out of responsibilities.

Just like Paul, we need to be able to provide for our own material needs through our work (Acts 20:34-35). Paul was a tentmaker in addition to being a servant of Christ. Instead of resorting to laziness, Paul pushed forward through God’s strength and lived a life that glorified God (Colossians 1:28-29).

Friends, let’s persevere in our lives by working hard, helping others, and proclaiming the Lord’s salvation. When we're busy being productive for God, we'll have no opportunity to fall into the sin of continued laziness.

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TL;DR

The Bible says that indulging in laziness as a lifestyle is a sin. Laziness includes refusing to work, sleeping all day, making excuses to avoid work, or wasting time. Continued laziness results in debt and poverty (Proverbs 13:4). Work is a good thing God has given us, and we should honor it. Work isn't a burden but an opportunity to glorify God. Believers ought to work at everything with all of our heart—serving others and God (Colossians 3:23-24). Our Heavenly Father sees everything we do, so we should not grow tired in serving Him (Galatians 6:9-10). An occasional lazy day is OK, but don't make a lifestyle of it!

By: Vivian Bricker

Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.

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