Meditations by John Dean

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Sluggard Spirit

(Proverbs 6:9 KJV) How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

I have always looked at the sluggard as one of the most disgusting people in the Bible. In my mind he is a character who is basically incapable of contributing to life because of his laziness. He would much rather eat, sleep and watch television than be a creative achiever.

I must admit that I probably have more patience and respect for the out and out sinner who is a go-getter than I do for a lazy self-indulgent sluggard who attends church regularly. At least the sinner does what he believes, whereas the sluggard seems to take the road of least resistance.

I have apparently just revealed to the whole world my own unworthy character for not having patience and love for my weaker brother.

A couple of weeks ago I began to realize that it is possible for the same ‘sluggard spirit’ that is in our text to be on each of us in one way or another. We usually give the sluggard spirit a more respectable name…but it is the same ugly spirit. This spirit can be summed up in one word…procrastinating…which means I will get to it later.

Now, having unmercifully exposed everyone else’s weaknesses, I want to shamefully reveal my own sluggard story.

In my home I have a very wide and long hallway going through my attic to a back staircase which is used for moving furniture upstairs. This hallway is not a part of the actual living area of my home, even though it is seven feet wide and twenty-nine feet long.

Because it is so big it became a place where we stored everything that we were not using at the time...including antique furniture and who knows what else. Over the years the hall became so full of stuff that it became evident that I needed to do something about it. However, I do not know when I dreaded anything as much as I did cleaning that hallway. As a matter of fact the spirit of procrastination, ‘sluggard spirit’ came on me so much that it took me two years to get around to cleaning it.

There were several steps to actually doing this job. The first step was to have a garage sale. The second step was to haul the antiques to the antique auction. The third step was to rip out all the old stained carpet that went up the back stair case and down the long hallway. The forth step was to repair and paint the walls and ceiling that had been damaged by all the furniture and boxes. The fifth step was to have the carpet man lay some new carpet.

The thought of all this work was so daunting to me that I allowed myself to become a candidate for a sluggard spirit.

However, a couple of weeks ago I made up my mind and hit this job full force and completed it within a week. When I was done I suddenly realized that the two years of procrastination and aggravation was much harder than the work itself.

Could it be our text was trying to communicate a principle rather than an actual person? If so, then everyone could become a victim of the ‘sluggard spirit’ by becoming lazy in some area of their life.

Thank You for showing me this principle of the sluggard and how I can avoid falling into its trap. Forgive me Lord for judging others who have been attacked by the sluggard spirit and help me to bring some measure of deliverance and healing to them.

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