I have a theory.
Believers who say the Christian life is hard are probably just lazy, and they were probably lazy sinners too.
I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out.
Let me give you four definitions and from them four types of people I’ve observed…
1) lazy: unmotivated, disengaged, immovable, passive, apathetic
2) active: engaged, hard-working, deliberate, passionate, focused
3) sinners: any of us before coming to faith in Christ
4) believers: any of us after coming to faith in Christ
You can put these adjectives and nouns together to describe 1) active sinners, 2) lazy sinners, 3) lazy believers, and 4) active believers. Do any of these word combinations sound especially dissonant to you?
That’s right, lazy and believer, shouldn’t be together. But we know far too often they are. Here’s how I think this happens…
When active, hard-working, hard-living sinners become Christians, they realize this new life is comparatively easy, not nearly as hard and hurtful on them. They can go full bore in God’s direction and be pleasantly surprised at the wind at their back. They are engaged and active and obeying Christ in all the ways they know how. They are going for it, most probably with at least as much gusto as they employed in their previous worldly pursuits. They grow and serve and change the world.
Active sinners rarely become lazy believers.
But lazy sinners are another story.
Plenty of us may start out as lazy sinners and Christ awakens in us a drive and energy we lacked before. We become active believers.
But I’m starting to think that lazy believers–unmotivated, disengaged, immovable–probably started out as lazy sinners–passive and apathetic. These folks don’t rise to Christ’s call to follow when it becomes too demanding, or stretching, or even uncomfortable. They lacked passion before turning to Christ; they lack it still.
This might seem pretty straightforward, perhaps even judgmental, but here’s the rub: we all have some “lazy believer” in us.
But there’s no lazy way to follow Jesus, no indifferent or idle discipleship available. Lazy sinners sometimes become lazy saints, if there can truly be such a thing. We all need to become active believers.
What I’ve observed is that we each can have pockets of unredeemed laziness. I think this can be a significant matter of prayer for us all.
What pockets of laziness can you confess and submit to the Spirit’s sanctification?