So far in my exploration of the 7 Deadly Sins I've looked at Pride, Envy and Anger; this post will focus on Sloth. Sloth has been, by far, the most difficult one for me to understand. Now, I understand when I am slothful, in fact, I spent a great deal of time sitting on the couch watching TV when I should have been thinking about the subject of Sloth. I guess practice makes perfect. The problem I had with Sloth was figuring out what was so deadly about it. Why is this one of the root sins I need to spray spiritual Roundup on?
In my laziness and inability to think about this subject I did do something that helped me. I read the book Killjoys: the Seven Deadly Sins like I have been to prepare for each subject and then I took a bike ride to try and not be so sedentary and hopefully get my mind moving as my legs moved. It was on this bike ride that Sloth's deadliness finally made sense.
On my bike ride I thought of this definition for Sloth:
Sloth = "failure to expend our energy and talents on the things of importance."
See, Tony Reinke in his chapter in Killjoys: the Seven Deadly Sins identifies three types of slothful people: the sluggard, the workaholic and the zombie. The sluggard is simply lazy even to the point of causing his own poverty. The workaholic has plenty of motivation and spends lots of energy but avoids the things of importance in doing so. And the zombie is someone who is mentally on autopilot perhaps lulled to mindless inactivity by TV or Facebook.
All three types of sloths fail to expend their energy and talents on the things of importance.
I believe that the points of our life when looked back upon on our deathbed as wasted are Sloth. To live a life of Sloth is to waste one's life. What is more akin to death than that?
So, how do we battle Sloth?
We fight Sloth by valuing the right things. Do you love your family or perishable things? Do you work toward worthwhile goals or are you aimless? Do you rest or waste time? Do you have hobbies or distractions? Do you spend most of your time missing life or enjoying it?
Once you place value, or rather find value, in the right things you must love them. We do what we love. Are you like the sluggard who loves nothing? Are you like the workaholic that loves busywork over family and leisure and God Himself? Or are you like God who worked to create and works to sustain what lasts and wastes absolutely nothing?
Here's some good news that we have. The things done for Christ and His Kingdom will last forever!
A life is a terrible thing to waste. Expend your energy and talents on the things of importance today.