No Couch Potatoes Allowed!

Have you ever met a lazy person?  Some years ago, a   woman said to me, “I think my son has a “spirit of laziness.”

Personally, I do not subscribe to the “spirit (demon) behind every bush” theology.  Many times we attach the word “spirit” to something, when in reality the problem is an attitude, a fleshly issue or a negative stronghold in our lives.

The Bible does indeed identify at least several “spirits.”  Let me name a few:

Spirit of heaviness (depression)–Isaiah 61:3
Spirit of holiness–Romans 1:4
Spirit of bondage–Romans 8:15
Spirit of slumber (the result of hardened hearts)–Romans 11:8
Spirit of meekness–1 Corinthians 4:21
Spirit of faith–2 Corinthians 4:13
Spirit of wisdom–Ephesians 1:17
Spirit of fear–2 Timothy 1:7
Spirit of truth and the Spirit of error–1 John 4:6
Used in these contexts, the word “spirit” refers to an outside spiritual influence that attaches itself to the soul of a person–his mind, will and emotions.  These can be either positive or negative.  They are spiritual influences that “hold on” and which become strongholds.  
A stronghold by definition is a system of thinking, attitudes, beliefs and expectations that develop over a period of time.  To summarize, a “spirit” involves an external force, while a stronghold builds from within a person.  One does, however, feed into the other.  Both attach themselves to the soul of a person.  Remember, the Christian life is played out on the battlefield of the mind. (FYI…there are of course, positive strongholds, too).
Take a few minutes to read Proverbs 6:1-15.  The preacher talks about the lazy person, or the sluggard.  Let me single out verses 3-5.  “Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, go humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.  Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand and like a bird from the hand of the fowler.”
What is he saying?  Notice three very important phrases here: “deliver yourself,” “humble yourself,” and again “deliver yourself.”  In other words, take responsibility for your actions and habits.  Years ago Chuck Swindoll wrote, “Sow a thought, reap an attitude.  Sow an attitude, reap a habit.  Sow a habit, reap a character.  Sow a character, reap a destiny.”  We are responsible not for the thoughts that knock on our mind gate, but for what we do with those thoughts.
Laziness is a choice.  People choose to become lazy.  Some spirit named “LAZY” does not attach itself to anyone.  Lazy people, through their own volition, make a choice to be lazy.  They need to be renewed in the “spirit of (their) mind” (Romans 12:2).  In other words, they need to re-train their mind to be productive and to develop a strong work ethic.
Let’s go back to Proverbs 6.  Verses 9-11 say, “How long will you lie down, O sluggard?  When will you arise from your sleep?  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–Your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.”
Laziness is a personal choice, not a spirit.  The Apostle Paul was rather hard on laziness when he told the believers in Thessalonica, “…if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.  For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all…” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11).  In this case, laziness was not a spirit, but an attitude.  Freeloaders have been around a long time!
Lazy people need to re-think their position, change their attitude, make a character adjustment and get up from the couch!  In closing, sometimes it takes harsh circumstances to get through to some people.  Ask the prodigal son, who after spending his inheritance, found out that corn husks and pig pens are everything they’re cracked up to be!

Perhaps lazy people need to be served a summons to become productive – an ultimatum, if you please.  The preacher gave the sluggard an ultimatum in Proverbs 6.  Remember, laziness is not a spirit; it’s a choice that may lead to an unproductive lifestyle.  God forbid! 



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