The Bible has a lot to say about working hard, being disciplined, and fighting all slothful tendencies. The Christian work ethic we derive from the teaching of both the Old and New Testament leaves no room for leisurely lives, lethargic attitudes or half-hearted work. Solomon advises us to “Go to the ant” and learn her wise ways (Proverbs 6:6). No one has to stand over her shoulder to prod her along. Threats are not needed. Like the rest of God’s insects, the ant is an industrious self-starter. “Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest” (Proverbs 6:7-8).
The Apostle Paul equates idleness with sin, going so far as to say that we shouldn’t even associate with a Christian who is lazy (2 Thessalonians 3:6). Paul points to his own example and tells how he, Silas, and Timothy “were not idle” but instead “with toil and labor we worked night and day” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-8). Of course, scheduled times of rest and refreshment were built into the pattern of creation, but a life of leisure was never the goal. God created us to be creators, thinkers and workers.
So instead of being discouraged about past failures or any previous patterns of sluggish work, why not pray for a fresh start and for God’s encouragement, then approach the next thing on your schedule with a purposeful enthusiasm. And always remember that “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23).