Is Laziness a Sin in the Bible?

Is Laziness a Sin in the Bible
Written by Christopher Turk

Is Laziness a Sin in the Bible?

Laziness is not what God is into. God designed man to labor and be productive, so living a life of laziness is a sin. According to the Bible, people who are lazy will not have a prosperous future because their persistent sloth results in debt, which breeds poverty (Proverbs 13:4, 11).

According to Proverbs 6:6, we should labor as hard as ants do. God has not included being lazy in his design for our life. Instead of being like the “sluggard,” let’s be like the diligent ants, whose lives have meaning and purpose.

Laziness Is Not the Same as Resting

While being idle is wrong, taking a break is not. God wants to provide us with the rest we need in order to live our lives in the right way. He is aware of our need for rest, (Matthew 11:28-30)

Avoiding work is being lazy. God gave rest as a gift. Being lazy is not of Him. Regardless of what we are doing, God created rest to be enjoyed in His presence and with him.

Even in the Bible, God instructed his people to rest, designating the Sabbath as a special day. Even God took a day of rest on the seventh, so the Sabbath should not only fall on Sundays for us (Mark 2:27)

What does the Bible say about Laziness?

The Bible uses severe words to describe laziness, including “sluggard,” “slothful,” and “worthless.”

Jesus uses a parable about gifts to illustrate how seriously he views laziness in Matthew 25. God takes sloth very seriously, as evidenced by the fact that the wicked and useless servant endured severe punishment for it.

Every time the Bible discusses laziness, it makes it abundantly apparent what perils it brings. This should serve as a reminder to us not to become lazy. Solomon often discusses the negative effects of sloth in the Proverbs, including poverty, suffering, and even death. God wants us to have full, abundant lives; he does not desire us to have these things. (Proverbs 6:9–11 ESV).

People are taught in the Bible that avoiding laziness brings them closer to God. It forms a circle that demonstrates how, by honoring the opportunities God provided us and working for them, we are honoring God and our faith, which will be rewarded with more benefits and, ideally, entrance into heaven  (Ephesians 2:10).

Bottom Line

It should not become a habit to be lazy. If we are wasting time, refusing to work, sleeping all day, and making up reasons to avoid obligations, we cannot serve the Lord with all of our hearts.

We need to be able to support our own material needs through our work, just like Paul did (Acts 20:34-35). Paul served Christ and also worked as a tentmaker. Paul pushed forward in God’s strength, refusing to give into sloth, and lived a life that exalted God (Colossians 1:28-29).

By working hard, lending a hand to others, and preaching the Lord’s redemption, let’s continue in life. We won’t have time to commit the sin of persistent indolence if we’re busy working hard for God.

About the author

Christopher Turk

Christopher is the lead elder/pastor of the local Christian church in Penticton, British Columbia. He has a dedication to serving his Lord's church and a pulpit competence that honors the legacy of his predecessor. Christopher is a passionate visionary for the Lord and His Kingdom! His church ministry background spans over 30 years of full-time service.

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