What Is The Sin Of Sloth In The Bible?
December 24, 2015 by Jack Wellman 5 Comments
What does the Bible define as Sloth? Is sloth considered a sin?
What is Sin?
Sin is defined for us as the breaking of God’s Law and that certainly includes the Ten Commandments but there are also other commandments that Jesus gave the disciples but the Apostle John gives us the best definition of sin in the Bible in 1st John 3:4 where he writes that “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” There it is! “Sin is lawlessness” or not keeping God’s law and all of us fall short of that standard (Rom 3:23). Those who sin also make a practice of it. Anyone that plays sports knows that they need to practice and practice a lot because they love it so those who sin a lot are cannot possibly be saved because “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him” (1st John 3:6) since practicing sin means a person has never repented of their sins and they continue to do them over and over again, therefore “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1st John 3:8). That’s not my opinion. That’s what God says in His Word.
A Commanded Rest
There is nothing wrong with picking a day and being slothful or taking a day of rest. In fact, we’re supposed to take one day in seven and cease from working or rest. Most take that day of rest as Sunday. In reality, more can get done by a person that takes one day of rest than they can working seven days a week. That’s because they’ve had a chance to rest, relax, and refresh their mind, body, and soul and they can better take on the demanding tasks of work.
A Command to Work
After “the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation” (Gen 2:1-3) and by doing so, He gave us an example. God didn’t need to rest. He rested so that we’d understand that God did too and so should we. In fact, the command to work and to rest both started in the Garden of Eden with the Lord’s command to Adam where it says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). God put Adam in the garden to “keep it” or keep the garden up by working it. The commandment to work is also given in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:9-10; “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” The command to work for “six days” and the command “not do any work” are both contained in the Fourth Commandment.
The Sin of Sloth
The word “sloth” basically means to be like the sloths you find in Central and South America. Sloths spend most of their time sleeping and eating in the tropical rainforests of South and Central America’s so a slothful human being is one that has an aversion to work or is allergic to labor and ends up sleeping and eating most of the time so is slothfulness or laziness sin? Yes, unless you have decided to take a day of rest. That’s not slothfulness…that’s a biblically commanded rest. The Bible says “The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor” (Prov 12:24) and “Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks” (Eccl 10:18). The roof sinks and leaks and that’s due to a lack of maintenance from the slothful resident living there. Paul commanded Christians in Rome “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Rom 12:11) and Jesus even rebukes the slothful servant when He returns to judge the world and will say “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed” (Matt 25:26).
Everyone who lives a slothful life may have a bad ending unless they repent and trust in Christ. The South American sloth is much like the human sloth where Solomon writes “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger” (Prov 19:15) so unless you obey the command to work, you too will make your bed in hunger because of your deep sleep for God has commanded that “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Ex 20:9).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.