The Gospel is full of grace to overcome laziness!

By Alan Wright — February 26, 2019

Laziness masquerades as a harmless, everyday sin – but it’s a thief that steals destiny. The Gospel is full of grace to overcome laziness.

Today’s Text: “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? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.’” (Matthew 25:26–27, ESV)

In Matthew 25, we’re given Jesus’ surprising parable about the man who goes on a journey and entrusts his property to three men. One man received five talents, another received two, and another received one. The first two men invested the money and returned it twofold to the master. But the third man buried it in the ground and returned the one talent to the master.

It’s surprising how angry the master is. After all, the servant was just trying to protect the master’s money, right? But there’s an even more interesting surprise. It’s what the master says to the one-talent servant: “You wicked and slothful servant.”

“Wicked and slothful?”

I might expect the master to call him “overly cautious” or even “afraid.” But “slothful?”

It points to a deep, important truth: fear is the foundation of laziness. Proverbs 22:13 declares, “The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets.’” The fear of moving forward – that’s what laziness actually is.

In other words, though we can be slothful because of fleshly appetites, our deeper tendency to laziness comes from a lack of faith. The Gospel cures laziness by convincing us of the greatness of God’s grace and assuring us of victory in Christ. The lazy soul finds safety in doing nothing, but the grace-filled life is energized by hope in Christ.

If you ever find yourself slow to tackle a tough task or hesitant to move forward, think of the grace of God. Think of your acceptance in the Beloved. Think of the promises of God toward you. God’s grace enables you to overcome laziness by overcoming your fear. And that’s the Gospel!

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