The peril of being lazy, Part II

By REV. DR. BOBBY CABOT

Pastor of the Arcadia and Bear Lake United Methodist Churches

Editor’s Note: The Rev. Cabot’s discussion of the Apostles’ Creed will resume next week.

In the last column we discovered that comfort, apathy and indifference can keep us from an abundant life.

God created us to work physically. Our work provides not only enough for us, but an excess to care for the needy. God calls us to a disciplined spiritual life which will continually expose the lies of the evil one so we are not ensnared. How can we overcome our ennui?

First, God birthed passion in each of us. What is your passion when it comes to spiritual matters: kids, poverty, hunger, the lost, reading, teaching, praying, or singing? When you feel your passion rise, do you let the devil tell you you’re not smart or worthy? Has he told you others will laugh at or reject you?

Jesus Christ had a passion for His death. Nothing could dissuade Him from the cross, not even His best friend Peter. Peter tried to talk Him out of it and Jesus recognized the voice that tried to turn Him away. He responded to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23).

You are called to be like Jesus. What is your passion?

Second, discovering your purpose will kill apathy. God knows why you are here. Do you? Do you think you’re doing well just getting up in the morning, going to work and coming home at night to sit on the sofa in front of the television? Or, will you let passion define your purpose?

Author John Alexander writes, “I suppose that the worst thing we can do with our lives is actively pursue wickedness: oppression, rape, hatred — they are hideous. But doing things that don’t matter is nearly as bad. God created us as wonderful beings, capable of loving, caring, growing. And what do we do most of the time? Nothing.”

I can think of nothing sadder than reaching our death bed with the realization that we wasted our lives; that we did not live up to our potential or accomplish the tasks God set before us. Do you view Jesus only as a kind of cosmic life insurance policy that guarantees your place in heaven? If so, I would suggest your understanding of the Christian life is deficient.

Jesus knew His purpose in life was to die. He denied Satan’s attempts to derail Him in what we now refer to as the Temptation of Christ, when Jesus was driven into the wilderness right after His baptism and reception of the Holy Spirit. There Satan tried three times to tempt Him, but Jesus never faltered. He knew His purpose.

You are called to be like Christ. Do you know your purpose?

Third, you must plan. Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen. Set SMART goals. SMART stands for “specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and attainable.”

Don’t plan to just read your Bible. That is vague. Plan to read your Bible every day for fifteen minutes in the morning. An extra 15 minutes is probably realistic and attainable.

Can you tangibly show that you’ve met your goal? Yes. You’ve read your Bible this week. Perhaps you didn’t make it every day, but you did read it 5 out of 7 days, which is a lot better than you did before. SMART goals can be applied to every area of your life.

Jesus knew His plan. His plan was smart. We are called to be like Jesus. Do you have a SMART plan to become like Him?

Passion, purpose and a plan overcome our laziness, which is birthed by comfort, apathy and indifference.

 

Leave a Reply