I bet you’ve never heard someone say when you trusted in Jesus you were saved into lazy Christianity.
I can see it now. “Go out into all the world and make lazy slobs of all nations.”
“Blessed are the lazy; for they will be served good things.”
And best of all, “They will know we are Christians by our laziness, by our laziness. They will kno-ow we are Christians by our laziness.”
I doubt when Jesus was looking for men to start the church he thought, “Now, who are the laziest suckers out here; I mean fishermen so worthless they might go fishing for men because it’s a metaphor and you don’t even have to get wet.”
And yet, if you’re a Christian there are a few ways God wants lazy Christianity to set in, rather than what you would be on your own, chasing after the world and its glories. No, he doesn’t want you to become a live-in slob who’s parked it permanently in his parents’ basement. And no, he’s not looking for guys who will hand their self-respecting wives the keys to the household and says, “This is in your hands now. Good luck. Now make me a sandwich.”
But there are three ways if we’re a Christian, God wants us to slow down from modern, driven America and try a different pace. Gosh, I might as well say it: a lazier Christianity.
1. God wants you to be lazy about your salvation.
Truer words have never been spoken. Now God doesn’t want you to be lazy about your maturity or growth in him (your sanctification). He wants you to take that on ambitiously. But when it comes to your salvation, the rock of your faith, he has a very different view.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62.1
A lot of people think from them comes their salvation, and Christians are tempted to fall into this too. We can do nothing to save ourselves; apart from God we are nothing. From him alone comes salvation. He saves. He delivers. He loves. And we need this reality to be the bedrock of our religion and all our faith to be based on him. In a funny way, our actions will be changed by this counter-culture belief in lazy salvation that leaves all the work to God and has us trusting totally in him.
2. God wants you to be lazy about works when they push you to miss being with Him.
When Jesus hung out at Mary and Martha’s house, one wanted to make sure everything looked nice, food was prepared, and the house was acceptable for guests. The other wanted to sit at Jesus’ feet.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10.42)
There are so many things we can do — and worry about — this week that all seem like they have value. Maybe cleaning the living room is one of them. But none of them are worth the surpassing value of sitting at Jesus’ feet.
A good friend of mine shared with me recently that she wished when she had little kids (as my wife and I do now) that she’d spent less time trying to keep everything clean and more time playing with the kids. Isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?
Is it possible there may be times this week God wants you to slow down, be a little lazier, and just spend some time with him or focused on what really matters?
3. God wants you to be lazy about your ambitions if they’re taking away from your family.
Americans tend to one of two extremes. Either they do nothing and depend on the people around them to take care of them (those people don’t need to read this article) or they work incessantly for a better life around the corner.
Sometimes the better life around the corner is right in front of us, in a daughter’s twinkle of the eye, in a wife’s laugh.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work hard for success, even for future dreams. But tomorrow is of no value if it steals the beauty of today.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127.2
This morning I had plans to get up early as I often do and write. Some time in the night my son snuck into bed with my wife and me and cuddled next to me, his head pressed against mine. This is actually a nightly ritual. He joins us in our bed in the middle of the night; we let him because we’re asleep.
When my alarm went off this morning, I grabbed my phone and hit snooze, and then I felt two little hands clutch my chest. Luke had figured out what was coming and wanted to hold onto this moment with his Daddy. So I reset the alarm and laid back down, my head poised against his, two little hands — perhaps in semi-consciousness — holding me there in the dark.
For God gives his beloved sleep.