The Gospel doesn’t make you lazy – it energizes you toward a destiny.
Paul, imprisoned at the time of his writing, told the Philippians: “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–15, ESV).
Grace empowered him to “press on.”
The wonderful assurance of our salvation in Christ by grace through faith does not lead us into laziness as some have imagined. In fact, laziness is rooted more in fear than it is in the simple weakness of the flesh.
Proverbs 22:13 is, at first, puzzling: “The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets.’” You might expect the proverb to say, “The coward says there is a lion outside….” Or, I wouldn’t be surprised if the voice of wisdom cried out, “The wise person says there is a lion outside….”
After all, only a fool would approach a roaring lion. The proverb isn’t addressing lion taming tactics; it is addressing the perils of fear. When we are afraid, we are rendered helpless.
When fearful that he’d lose the master’s money, one servant in Jesus’ parable of the talents buried the money. Upon his return, the master called the servant “slothful.”
Fear causes laziness. If we are afraid of failing, we will procrastinate or avoid a mission altogether. However, if the fear is removed, we can move forward.
The athlete that strains forward toward the finish line isn’t running away from something out of fear. He or she is sprinting toward a goal in faith.
If you’re feeling lazy and looking for energy to move forward, don’t look to your own strength or righteousness. Look to Jesus. He’s the author and finisher of your faith. When you think much of the love of Jesus—the perfect love—it casts out fear. When fear is gone, energy returns. And that’s the Gospel!