I think I’ve created a new term: spiritual sloth.
Not really. But…WOW, I’m such a Christian slacker (or spiritual sloth)! This morning it dawned on me just how bad my current state of being is. In some very specific areas of life, I’m trying to “cut corners.” Mainly because I don’t want to put in the work. I’m lazy. The good news is I’m not alone.
We all like shortcuts! Little effort and quick results–that’s what’s up. But, that mindset doesn’t always work in our favor.
I was a lazy-butt with my diet.
For example, last year, I started keto for lightening fast weight loss and speedy health benefits. Sure, I enjoyed the butter, fat and gluttony.
But…it didn’t work for me health-wise.
My “need for speed” actually created some new health issues for me, so I quit and transitioned to a low-carb lifestyle. Didn’t stay with that because I missed Twinkies. Geesh!
Bible study and the spiritual sloth
As for Bible study, I’m always seeking a short-cut…or the latest thing!
I’ve tried SOAKing, tried Kay Arthur’s way of Bible study, Bible journaling and doing whatever else that comes down the popular pike.
Not only and I intreguged by the latest and the new, but I’m all about being as efficient as I can. But, does that work with Bible study? Should that be anyone’s goal?
At any rate, we always want fast…fast…fast.
In fact, as I type this, the president just said during a press conference “I preferred not to do this, I just wanted it done faster“. Seriously! That just came on GMA and is not fake news!
Want the product? Go through the production!
Everyone wants fast and speedy resolutions to complex (and not so complex) problems! No one wants to wait, do they?
Few “peeps” want to put the time in to get the ultimate result.
I did the same…
Not long ago, I admired (not jealous, but admired) someone else’s anointing to speak incredibly clearly and succinctly about God’s Word. She has a way to communicating the most complex spiritual principles and breaking them into to easy-to-understand principles.
Her gift is clearly the gift of exhortation and I’ve been the benefactor of her gift of wisdom for some time. I love and admire her so much! She’s old enough to be my mom and has sown into my life for so many years I couldn’t count if I wanted to do so.
Well, after hearing her speak, I was like Lord “I admire her gift so much; I wish I could make things so plain and clear.”
His reply deep in my spirit: “To have what she has, you have to do what she’s done.”
See, I know her and she is a strong, adamant woman of God who prays hours and hours at a time. She is long retired and her children have children. She commits her days to the Lord in a way that seems unimaginable to me in my current stage of life.
All this devotion to study, to prayer shows in her ministry and the presence of God on her life.
No shortcuts. None. Nope. Nada. No spiritual slot living.
For the most part, the long-term benefits and results we all long for take time. They take dedication. They require sacrifice. No short cuts exist.
Just like in marriage…
If you want a healthy marriage, you have to spend time together and invest the serious time to work on it.
Yes, you have to be in one another’s presence…listening, sharing, observing…even irritating one another so you’ll know one another intimately.
You’ll have to rediscover that joker and and discover who he is becoming with years, experience and maturity. If you’ve been married a long time, he’s not the same person you dated. He’s grown, expanded and maybe even adapted new perspectives and opinions.
Just like with weight loss…
Remember my example earlier?
Honey-Girl, take it from me: if you want to lose weight, the best way is to change your entire lifestyle over time. A fad diet is a waste of time. It must become a lifestyle to sustain. Don’t you agree?
Retire the “spiritual sloth” inside you…
If you want a solid, living relationship with the Lord, you simply have to spend time in His Word. Devotionals are fine. Facebook posts are OK, but they will not mature you in the Bible.
Only consistent Bible study/investment and time will do that. A spiritual sloth will remain weak in spirit if they don’t invest the time.
It means turning off the television, removing all distractions and just being alone with the Lord.
During that time, you read through targeted areas of the Bible.
You have to let it marinate. This isn’t a race.
You have to read the same scripture a million times over periods of time until it becomes part of your spiritual DNA. It’s like a spiritual tattoo of that scripture. So it will come to your mind at random times.
When you do this, when you devote this time to the Lord, you give the Holy Spirit something to work with. You give him something to bring back to you.
No shortcuts. No way, you just have to pray, sit, remain and just “be” with Him.
Hang in there…
If you have a challenging situation you’re dealing with in your life, trust the process. It is part of your maturity process, I’m sure.
Stop trying to pray it completely away. I think God allows suffering to build faith muscles in your spiritually slothful life. What do you think?
Your problem may be just that.
What if your “tough season” is God-ordained?
For instance, He may have hardened your husband’s heart to teach you something about yourself. He can do that. The heart of the king is in His hand and so is your husbands.
He may have allowed that hard season to enter your life to reveal Himself to you in a different, fresh and invigorating way.
I’m not saying pray. Not even a little bit. I’m saying pray with a sort of surrender…just in case God is doing something for you and in you.
As I look back over my life… and I think things over…
My hardest life challenges, taught me so much about relying on God.
At the time, they were pure hell on earth, but in rear-view, they were the best things for me spiritually.
“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
In the end…His will is all that matters.
Abandon the shortcuts for the things that really matter.
Devote the time.
Invest the energy and just wait. Be determined to shed your spiritual slothfulness.
Tell me your thoughts in the comments.