In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 the servant who had been given $1,000 hid the money and returned the entire amount to the master. He hadn’t lost it, or spent it. It was all there, but the master was furious. The biggest mistake of the third servant was that he simply played it safe and was lazy. In the King James Version (verse 26) Jesus said, “You wicked and slothful servant!” The lazy servant took the path of least resistance; he simply did nothing. When it comes to serving the Lord, laziness and slothfulness is a sin. Proverbs 19:15 says, “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.”

The master calls the servent a sloth. Regina Barreca of the Chicago Tribune wrote that ‘Sloth is insidious. It whispers that you might as well do it tomorrow, that nobody will know if you cut corners here and there to save yourself some trouble. Sloth says, “Don’t strain yourself,” “What’s the big hurry?” and “Just give me five more minutes.” Sloth hits the snooze alarm, hits the remote control and hits the road when the going gets tough … Sloth cheats on exams, drinks straight from the milk carton and leaves exactly two sheets on the toilet roll so that it will have to be replaced by the next poor soul who finds out too late that the remaining paper is nothing more than a mirage. Sloth does slightly less than the right thing. It doesn’t tell the clerk he has undercharged. Sloth has never written a thank-you note, sent a birthday card on time or entertained angels. All this simply asks too much effort.

This slothful servant talked more than the other two, but did less. The first two servants each used 16 simple words to report their gain, but the lazy servant had a long speech prepared using 51 words. Slothful people talk more about what they do, then what they do.

Are you going to be one of those servants who spends you entire life only giving a little to God and sitting and soaking instead of serving? And then one day, you’ll have a long speech prepared to tell the Lord why you basically wasted your entire Christian life doing nothing.

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