Thursday, October 31, 2013

Theology Thursday: Fighting Off Sloth

Recently, I have had too many projects on my plate to be able to get them all done. There’s a particular project that is due next week that I haven’t touched in days. I keep telling myself that I’ll get to it tomorrow, but then tomorrow comes and goes and I still haven’t done it.  Last night I attended a Bible study by Father Robert Barron covering Sloth and how to combat it.  I thought it was quite timely, so I’ll post some of what I learned last night here.

1) Procrastination is a five syllable word for sloth

When we procrastinate by putting off doing the good things that we know we need to do, we are presuming on God’s grace.  We are assuming that we will have more time, that we will be given a tomorrow in which to work.  We are not promised tomorrow by God.  We are not promised another hour, or another minute.  We do not know that we will be able to do anything later, as we do not know God’s plan for our lives, and so we should do what needs to be done today - without delay!

2) Sloth leads to drifting away from God

The world is an ocean with a strong current that we must fight constantly if we want to remain close to God.  When we give in to sloth, we stop fighting that battle.  We allow the world to distract us from what really matters and pursue our own pleasure and our own desires rather than the things of God.  It starts with slacking off in our prayer life, and can eventually lead to us losing sight of God altogether if we don’t realize the danger in time.

3) The best way to battle sloth is by discipline and service to others

I fight sloth a lot. I don’t particularly feel like going to a Bible study some nights. I make the decision, though, to love God more than I love my comfortable spaces and places and I go anyway.  I have learned that forcing myself to do what I don’t feel like doing is the best way to get past sloth.  I accept responsibilities that tie me to the group, things that I know mean other people are going to be counting on me, so that the knowledge that I’m disappointing more than just myself drives me forward when it would be easier to just stay home.

4) Seek God’s mission for your life by asking for Him to reveal it to you

One of the ways that Father Barron recommended fighting sloth is to seek God’s specific mission for  you for that day. Pray for it to be revealed to you through Scripture, or by someone coming your way and asking for help.  Then do whatever He tells you to do immediately.  Get excited about your purpose, knowing that you are part of His plan, and understand that you’re the only one truly equipped for that purpose.

We are all tempted to give in to sloth from time to time, but we need to recognize that tendency and find a way to get excited about our faith again rather than allowing ourselves to be carried away from God by the world.  Sloth will always be there, but we don’t have to give in to it.

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