Here are five tips from the Bible on how to overcome laziness.
Use All Your Might
Wise King Solomon wrote, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going” (Eccl 9:10). We can read passages like this and choose to believe it or choose believe it and not do it anyway, either way, this verse and all Scripture is true. Whatever our occupation is, it is a holy vocation, because it comes from the hand of God and should be done for the glory of God.
Consider the Ant
The Bible never tries to be politically correct; it is always correct, and it tells us to “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Prov 6:6). How can we learn from an ant? Even though the ants have no “chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest” (Prov 6:7-8). The conclusion is, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” (2nd Thess 3:10). Being diligent is not just commanded, it comes in handy when winter sets in and you have food to eat. Even the ant plans ahead.
Grow in Knowledge
One woman wrote to an advice column in the newspaper and said her husband just needs to grow up. All it seems he does when he comes home from work is play video games and watch TV. He claimed to be a Christian before they got married, but she said that there is absolutely no fruit in his life. He hasn’t read the Bible in 7 years…and that was only grudgingly. We can pray for this woman and her husband, but for those who are believers, we should crave “for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1st Pet 2:2), and thereby “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2nd Pet 3:18). You can help overcome laziness by being in the Word because eventually, the Word gets in you.
Get Some Rest
Getting tired and being lazy is not the same thing. Even Elijah needed some downtime under the broom tree (1st Kings 19:5-7). If you find you are tired, are you taking at least one day of rest? Do you feel you’re doing something at least every day of the week? You might not really be lazy but just tired! And if you’re tired, why not get some rest and nourishment for your body? Elijah the Prophet, the mighty man of God needed rest, so after he rested, “he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God” (1st Kings 19:8).
Working for God
The Apostle Paul is clear about Who we really work for, and it’s not our employer or even ourselves if we’re self-employed. It doesn’t matter what our job is or who we work for. It doesn’t even matter what the job is, even if people think it’s the worst. If it is done with all your might, it is a God-honoring work done for His glory. Paul tells us, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col 3:23-24). Guess what? You’re last paycheck comes when you receive your rewards, and it’s not coming from your employer. They might not even be there, but God will, and imagine Him saying, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt 25:34).
If you confess to yourself you are lazy, why not try to carve out a little by little those things that need to be done. Create a list and prioritize it. I start with the hard stuff first because then it gets increasingly easier as I go through the list. Laziness is sinful, so we (me included!) must apply ourselves to work as hard as we can; to think like an ant which plans for the coming winter; to continue to grow in the knowledge of Christ and the Word; to know it’s God Who you work for and He is the only One Who sees all you do. Someday, He will come and bring His reward with Him.