How to Defeat Spiritual Laziness

I just started a monthly column for 9Marks. This is going to be fun, because I love 9Marks, and I love writing.

For the first column, I covered the topic of “spiritual laziness.” How can we tackle it? I addressed the problem–treated in a number of places in Scripture–from a pastoral standpoint. The article will hopefully be relevant not only for pastors, though, but for any Christian who (like me) sees spiritual lethargy as a temptation and wants to defeat it.

Here’s a little bit from the piece:

Our modern evangelical movement, particularly the grace-loving wing (of which I am an enthusiastic part), has a tendency to take a biblical text, perhaps one anchored in God’s mercy but with some sharp edges, and to blend it all together. To make a gospel smoothie of it.

To be sure, we should read all Scripture with theological lenses, and with Christ at the center. But if we’re not in tune with the actual tone and style of the biblical authors (and not a footloose-and-fancy-free pastiche of their material), passages like Titus 1:10-16 can sound harsh to our modern ears. Paul didn’t hold back. He made it clear that there were tendencies in this region toward idleness. He also made it clear that laziness and failure to pursue the Lord wholeheartedly and to engage the mission of God are shameful sins. These behaviors are also dangerous, because idle passivity leaves people susceptible to false teaching, particularly teaching oriented to selfish gain.

Here’s the whole thing.


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