“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of…” – Jesus, John 10:10
Video: “Sloth, the 4th Deadly Sin,” picks up at around the 28-minute mark. – Rebekah
Sloth is when you are blessed with a gourmet kitchen but still serve Chef Boyardee right out of the can.
Sloth – the 4th Deadly Sin:
If I were making a list of “My Favorite Things” then Sunday morning worship would always find its way close to the top. Especially those times when the sanctuary (or the CLC) is full and a buzz of excited anticipation fills the space.
There really is nothing like several hundred people all coming together to praise God, to listen to the word, and to celebrate the beauty of being a faith community. It’s a demonstration of enthusiasm and commitment that is the very opposite of sloth.
Sloth looks at the invitation to follow Jesus and says, “I really can’t be bothered.” Abundant life happens when we not only show up but follow up by joining in God’s initiatives of grace, by being active participants in the imperative to live faith out loud.
I can imagine very little that offends God more than when we take this amazing gift (the gift of life) and trade in abundance for something less, less real, less challenging, less charged with light and life, less of Jesus. Sloth is the opposite of the fully engaged life.
Invitation not Indictment:
Thinking about this – and I always value this exercise of unpacking the message the next day – I think I have a clear sense of direction for the next men’s ministry seminar I’ll be leading, later this month in Southern Pines.
I plan to present this challenge from the viewpoint of invitation rather than indictment. Not an indictment of stagnation but an invitation to live. Because if we keep our eyes on Jesus, and the wonderful invitation to live fully engaged lives as disciples, then sloth isn’t even in the conversation.
Fact is, just as faith without action really isn’t faith at all, Christianity without abundant life is simply one more set of religious code or rules or doctrine.
This is my message. It’s my message for the men I will be meeting with later this month and also for you – my readers – every single day. “More and better life than you have ever dreamed of,” (Eugene Peterson’s translation of John 10:10).
“A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over…” – Luke 6:38
With Jesus there can be no sloth. Sloth and discipleship are incompatible. Sloth is deadly because – like death – it simply has no life.
Light, Grace, Invitation & Promise – DEREK
Photos from March 3 worship at WFPC:
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.