sloth: self-diagnosis

I just listened to Tony Campolo talk about the seven deadly sins. In this podcast, he talked about sloth.

Let me just say this: I suck.

But wait, I’ve got an excuse: Our culture sucks.

Sure our culture is full of business and hurried life and over involvement. But what is the ideal? A vacation. The more vacations you take, the longer you take them, the better off you are. How sad is it that some people dislike their current life so much that they long to get away from it?

My problem is that I think I soak up too much time. I stop and smell the roses a bit more often than I need to. I’m just being honest. There are times where I find myself working 12 or 14 hours days consecutively. But there are other times where I find myself just hanging around.

I need to have a predisposition towards action. My default mode must be to work.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by joel on May 20, 2009 at 9:50 am

    i agree that laziness is not good, but don’t overlook the benefits of rest, especially in ministry. It’s so easy to get consumed in relational ministry and if you get in the habit of going constantly without stopping, it can be a habit that kills you.
    I know you are probably talking about excessive rest/laziness and that’s not good. BUT make sure you rest buddy…
    my suggestion is to take one day a week, a sabbath if you will, and find something non-work related that you can do. Paint, go fishing, read a book, go for a walk. that’s what i do anyway…


  2. Posted by mike baker on May 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Adam i was terrible at balancing this i would work like crazy and then be lazy.
    When i started here in pa one thing i had to do was create goals for myself form ministry to personal and family.
    This has kept me better balanced and making sure i have quality family and wife time.
    I track them monthly and have to report to my elder bimonthly. it was some extra work upfront, but had been very beneficial to me on the daily basis. it doesn’t work well in season of business like camp weeks or something.

    Just a thought i wanted to share.


  3. This is a very difficult subject. I find that most ministers in America try to follow a business model. Every day I am growing more convinced that this is the exact opposite of what Christ wants for His church. When we see our jobs as that of business men or the church as something to be modeled after a business then we get down on ourselves for being lazy. I’m not sure where the balance is.

    I have seen many ministers burn out and lose control when it comes to time management. Mike, no offense but your idea seems like a lot of work to not work a lot. If it works, then I’m glad for you.

    We often times try to become more productive pastors. This is non sense when we realize that it’s God’s church and His mission and He has only invited us to join Him. The mission will be completed with or without us.

    If we are following God’s mission then we are participating with Him. If what we’re doing is something other than that, well we need to quit. (I’m speaking about church work). What I’ve found is that today there are too many ministers who don’t take time to stop and smell the roses and they look down at those who do. Don’t feel guilty for being an artistic man who can enjoy God’s artwork.

    St. John of Damascus once wrote, “The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.” Spending time enjoying that can not easily be seen as wasted time.

    We should not become products of our society


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