Lazy and Sluggish
Heb. 6:11 And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end,
Heb. 6:12 so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (NRSV)
11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)
When speaking about spiritual growth the writer to the Hebrews encouraged the people to show discipline. Spiritual discipline is required to persevere in the faith. We are to imitate those who have gone before us, looking on the lives of those who have persevered to the end recognize the way in which faith and patience have completed their work. There is no place for laziness or sluggishness in the life of the follower of Christ.
Being diligent in living the Christian life leads me to a place of faith and patience. Those things are not inherited when we begin our walk with the Lord, but they are things that come about as a result of persevering in the life of faith.
I think of the many who have gone before me and have made such a lasting impression. The last little while I have heard many people refer to the influence of Dr. Ruben Welch. He was a devotional speaker many years ago at a Youth meeting in Colorado. He spoke every morning and led us to understanding discipleship in a way that could result in life-long perseverance in our faith. At that same gathering we were taught about the importance of daily time in the word and journaling. It was in that place that I made a commitment, as a teenager, that I wanted to have that type of discipline in my life because I wanted to be like those heroes of the faith that were there, being living examples for me. And those like Ruben Welch have persevered in the faith. They have run, and continue to run a good race and when I look at him, and others like him, I want to finish well.
To finish well takes discipline. There is no place for laziness or sluggishness in our lives. There may be those who would say that this is only pertaining to the spiritual, but I wonder how we can disconnect the spiritual with the physical world. Aren’t we wholistic human beings? There is no separation between the spiritual and the physical because we are whole humans and therefore we can’t say that we are one thing spiritually, while living something else out in the flesh. This was already tried back in the early church and it was known as gnosticism — and very much refuted! Therefore, when we are admonished to not be lazy or sluggish and to show discipline, it’s about our whole lives. My relationship with Jesus Christ should impact every part of who I am and in that regard, there should be no room for laziness in the life of the believer.
Lord, please help me to live a life of discipline, imitating those who have lived in faith and patience. Amen.