How to Keep the Little Things from Making You a Slacker

A euphemism is a nice way of saying something unpleasant. We’ll say: “He’s under the weather,” or “She passed away,” or “I misspoke,” when really we mean to say he’s sick, she died, and I lied.

How to Keep the Little Things from Making You a Slacker

(Photo by Photodune)

I’ve never found a good euphemism for a lazy person. Maybe slacker. At best we have a few obscure expressions—lounger, laggard, drone—but these work only because we don’t know what they mean. And if we did, we’d wish we didn’t.

A lot of what I’ve learned about what’s best to do in life has come from observing mistakes. Even though a slacker would never have the self-discipline to give a lecture, we can receive a whole course of study simply by observing his or her lazy life.

Here are several key lessons we can learn from Mr. Lazybones that will keep us motivated from becoming lazy.

Meet the Slacker

A great word to describe the slacker is the colorful and concise designation the Bible gives: “sluggard.” Here is his brief biography:

I passed by the field of the sluggard, and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense; and behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles, its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,” then your poverty will come as a robber, and your want like an armed man. —Proverbs 24:30-34

As I read this paragraph, one word keeps jumping out at me: “little.”

Life has very few blowouts. Most of our failures come from slow leaks—those little moments of neglect. We make a habit of telling ourselves: Just this once or, I’ll do it tomorrow. We always have a good reason for putting it off. Always.

So does the sluggard.

But hey, what’s wrong with: “A little folding of the hands to rest”? It’s just a little, and after all, rest is biblical. But when too much of a good thing replaces responsibility, it becomes willful neglect. (And that’s unbiblical.)

Our success or failure hinges on how we treat the little things in life. (Tweet that.)

Just get started.

(Photo by Rennett Stowe from USA. Tapping a Pencil. Uploaded by Atmoz. CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

How the Little Things Trick Us

One reason it’s tempting to put off doing what we should is because the results of hard work aren’t immediate. Our instant-access culture has trained us to demand immediate satisfaction. We want to Google our solutions.

But neither are the results of laziness immediate. Little things add up. BOTH diligence and laziness will bring results. Diligence pays you and laziness costs you, and neither result comes immediately.

The slacker also shows us that good intentions, while noble, are worthless without hard work. Notice: “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4).

If something is important to us, we find a way. If it isn’t important, we find an excuse. (Tweet that.)

The slacker has cravings or desires—perhaps even biblical goals—but he’s unwilling to do what it takes to make those cravings reality, because all he does is crave. Only diligence succeeds at making the good intentions come to life.

How to Keep the Little Things from Making You a Slacker

So, what is it you’ve been putting off?

  • You want to find a good church, but you don’t have a clue where to look. Here’s some help.
  • You know you’re difficult to be around, but it’s “just who you are.” Well, not really.
  • You’d like to write a book, but you “don’t have time.”
  • You’d like to go to Israel, but you can’t afford it.
  • You know you need to read the Bible in order to grow, but you can’t keep consistent.

Of course you don’t have time or the resources to do these things. Absolutely, these are too hard to do. The only life-change that rewards you comes from hard work.

Consider what the biblical slacker has taught us, and mark it well: if you don’t begin doing what you should, you will certainly suffer loss. And good intentions, while noble, are simply worthless without hard work.

  • Start small. But start! Little things add up.
  • Seek someone to keep you accountable. This will really help you.
  • Stay consistent at the little things, and you will be surprised how they add up to a rewarding life.

You can do it!

Tell me what you think: What do you need to begin doing? To leave a comment, just click here.

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