Sloth has more to do with being lazy about love than being lazy about our work. (GV p. 82)
Sloth is “resistance to the discipline and transformation demanded by our new identity as God’s beloved children, created and redeemed to be like him. The slothful like the comforting thought of being save by love, of being God’s own, but balk at facing the discomfort of transformation – the slow putting to death of the old sinful nature – and the discipline it takes to sustain that transforming relationship of love over the long haul.” (GV p. 92)
Love flourishes in a context of daily action and lasting commitment, and sloth flourishes in a context of conveniently easy escape. (GV p. 98)
The primary remedy for [sloth] is being faithful in the demands of daily life that God’s love calls us to face. ~ Robert Kruschwitz
Questions for Reflection
Describe your level of satisfaction with your faith and your life.
- Do you feel bored? Challenged? Too busy?
- Do you feel like you are “in the right place” or are you searching for something different, something more?
What kinds of activities fill your days?
- Do these activities draw you closer to God and others?
- Do they reflect your priorities for faith and life?
What relationships do you value most?
- What kinds of work does it take on a daily or regular basis to keep these relationships strong, healthy and fulfilling?
- What happens when you face a disagreement or challenge in these relationships?
How would you describe your relationship with God?
- How does knowing that God loves you and created you for a purpose change how you view your life?
- How do you resist God’s love and the work God calls you to do?
- How can you remind yourself on a daily basis both who you are – a beloved child or God – and what God calls you to do – serve God and others in the world?
How does our contemporary culture distract us from forming close and loving relationships with God and others, and thereby tempt us to be wanderers and escape artists from our own lives?
Practices to Resist Sloth and Cultivate Faithfulness
Ground Yourself in Good News
Review Your Priorities and Renew Your Commitments
- Look at your calendar and your checkbook – does how you spend your time and money accurately reflect your priorities?
- Reflect on where you spend your life – home, work, school, church, community, etc. – and what it means to do the work of God’s love in these places.
- Reconnect with your spouse, partner or a close friend and make a commitment to strengthening this relationship in specific ways.
- Reflect on where faith fits into your life and how you could renew your commitment to God.
Invest in Your Faith
- Attend worship regularly (even when you don’t feel like it).
- Incorporate prayer and Bible reading into your daily routine.
- Commit to a small group of other Christians who meet regularly for prayer, support and Bible study.
- Reflect on the gifts God has given you for service and how you could use them to strengthen the ministry and mission of your faith community.
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
~ Augustine of Hippo