Overcoming Laziness

By Vladimir Savchuk | May 27, 2024 | 5 mins

Overcoming Laziness

Laziness is often seen as a lack of motivation or unwillingness to work when you can. This is not in reference to those who are unable to work, but rather those who can and just choose not to.

For those who want to burn with fire for God, I like what Ian Bounds said, “The lazy man does not, will not, cannot pray for prayer demands energy.” Everything, even the intentionality in our relationship with God requires our effort.

This topic of laziness is viewed differently amongst many but in the Bible, we see that laziness is typically frowned upon as it contradicts diligence (Proverbs 6:6-11; 13:4). Both the Old Testament and the New Testament consistently command us to be diligent and warn against the dangers of being slothful (Romans 12:11; 2 Thess. 3:10-11).

5 Characteristics of Laziness

  • Procrastination: The Bible often depicts the lazy person as someone who delays or puts off tasks (Prov. 20:4).
  • Neglect of Duties: Laziness in the Bible is also associated with a neglect of responsibilities (Prov. 24:30-34).
  • Love of Sleep: Excessive sleep is frequently mentioned as a trait of the lazy (Prov. 6:9-11).
  • Making Excuses: The lazy person often makes excuses to avoid work (Prov. 22:13).
  • Lack of Initiative: Laziness is also mentioned as failing to begin work or take the initiative. 

Laziness can bring about many consequences to a person’s life like poverty (Proverbs 10:4), ruin and decay (Prov. 24:30-34), public dishonor, and even missed opportunities. If you have been seeing some of these traits in your life and desire to address them with the help of the Lord, here are a few practical steps you can take.

How to Overcome Laziness

1. Seek Wisdom and Instruction

Proverbs often tells us about the pursuit of wisdom and discipline as opposites to laziness (Proverbs 6:23). Engaging with and applying the Bible can help motivate you to be diligent and purposeful. When you get into the Bible, it begins to just fill you with the God’s power because it is God breathed. It gives you instruction which helps you to overcome laziness.

2. Observe Diligent Role Models

The Bible constantly tells us to look to diligent people as role models. Proverbs 6:6: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Observing hard work and organization can give us a very clear example that we can strive to achieve in our lives. I encourage you to look to people in your life, like your coach, pastor, father, or mother, who are hardworking. Observe their discipline and diligence, and pray that the Lord would help you in this area.

3. Embrace Correction

Be open to correction and accountability (Proverbs 12:1). Sometimes we treat correction as rejection, instead of an opportunity to improve and change. Don’t always make excuses when somebody corrects you. Instead, prayerfully take that in because your goal is not to protect your ego. Your goal is to grow. 

4. Cultivate the Fear of God

The Bible says in Proverbs 9:10 that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Understanding this principle can help you to live a productive life. Biblical wisdom is always tied to diligence and hard work to spiritual reverence for God.

5. Rely on God’s Strength

We also see that Philippians 4:13 says that we “can do all things through Christ” who strengthens us. Just ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Repent of that laziness and say, “Holy Spirit help me to be active, help me not to make excuses.” He is a faithful God. We must learn to rely on Him instead of our own strength.

6. Set Clear Goals

Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to give yourself direction and purpose. I have goals for each day, each week, and even for the year. I like to use the Reminders App on my phone. I find this tool to be very helpful for me because things don’t just happen; you have to set clear, SMART goals.

7. Develop a Routine

Another effective key to breaking laziness is to structure your day with a consistent schedule. Doing this will help you to form disciplined habits. For example, prioritize your reading of the Word of God and then your exercise. Also, I often encourage people to do the “hard things” first. Whether that is a meeting or a hard conversation, get it out of the way first. This will help you feel more accomplished when it’s out of the way.

8. Break Tasks into Smaller Steps

Also, break large tasks into smaller pieces. This makes them seem less daunting and easier to accomplish. For example, when writing a book, create an outline, then write a certain number of words each day. Little accomplishments help increase our desire to do more.

9. Eliminate Distractions

Another helpful tip is to identify and minimize distractions in your environment. When we get easily distracted, it is easy to procrastinate. To break this, try setting boundaries with people and putting restrictions on your phone usage. Also, try to organize the area where you work. This can cause your mind to be more clear and focused.

10. Reward Progress

Lastly, set up a system of rewards for completing tasks. Positive reinforcement can motivate you to continue being productive. Reward yourself for small steps and take breaks to rest and recharge.

Final Thoughts

Laziness will bottleneck your spiritual growth, your potential, and sometimes lead to boredom, which will lead to bondage. Fight against laziness aggressively because as a Christian, the virtues we are to have are diligence, discipline, and productivity.

Read: Breaking the Addiction to Food

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