Lent 5: Seven Deadly Sins (Jeff Cook)

Lent 5: Seven Deadly Sins (Jeff Cook) April 6, 2011

Jeff Cook, author of Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes , has offered some brief meditations for us to ponder during Lent this year.

Sloth

During Lent, we will meditate together on the Seven Deadly Sins and use this list as an aid in confession as we prepare ourselves for Holy Week, Good Friday and the Easter announcement of resurrection.

Sloth is not restfulness. Sloth is escapism of the deadly sort. Sloth saps our time and emotions through a favorite sports team, a new set of shoes, or obsession over our appearance—while leaving scant energy for our marriage or kids or duties. Nothing is so clearly modern, so clearly western as is sloth. Despite our fast-moving, success-worshipping, ulcer-ridden society, we invest our energies and talents most often in what is trivial. Despite our frantic pace, our eyes are seldom focused on what is actually “good.”

At its core, sloth moves us away from everything that ultimately matters and directs us toward simple distractions, for sloth is not laziness. Sloth is indifference—indifference toward my soul, my neighbors, my world, or my God. Drug users, Netflix addicts, and excessive videogamers may be poisoned by sloth, but so are most workaholics. In fact, sloth is best expressed not by a sluggish attitude but in zeal over petty matters. Sloth, in fact, is a sorrow about goodness. It finds those things that we were made to enjoy and pursue to be useless and boring.

To those of us who struggle with sloth Jesus said, “Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for all things put right.”

(Excerpt from Seven: the Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes by Jeff Cook)

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  • KChp

    “In fact, sloth is best expressed not by a sluggish attitude but in zeal over petty matters.”

    Hmm… sloth is a lot more sly than I realized.

  • MatthewS

    Sloth is not restfulness. Sloth is escapism of the deadly sort.

    Drug users, Netflix addicts, and excessive videogamers may be poisoned by sloth, but so are most workaholics. In fact, sloth is best expressed not by a sluggish attitude but in zeal over petty matters.

    Very thought-provoking and convicting. I’ve never considered workaholics to be guilty of sloth. They aren’t slothful in the sense most imagine but it is often the case that they are hiding or escaping rather than pursuing the good. That is sneaky! It’s also sneaky how someone who is passive-aggressive can hide behind a claim of gentleness or patience when it is actually avoidance.

    That guy, sloth – he’s a sneaky fellow!

  • Pat Pope

    How is sloth defined in the Greek? Just curious as I always thought it was associated with laziness. As I read it in Ecc. 10:18, it can be described as inattention as the person’s roof sags but in that same verse it’s paired with slackness.

  • Pat Pope

    To my comment at #3, I meant how is it defined in Hebrew. Duh!

  • Adam

    “Nothing is so clearly modern, so clearly western as is sloth.”

    This is an interesting statement to me. I feel like my world and my environment encourage slothfulness.

  • MatthewS

    Is this sin of sloth essentially the same thing as acedia? If so, that’s an old problem, more than just modern and Western. I see how our culture feeds into this but I am guessing that the more some things change the more things stay the same, too.

  • DRT

    Hmmm. How ironic that the two toed sloth is most likely never slothy because he does not have the time to waste…