We continue with the sixth installment of our seven-part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss Laziness (also known as sloth).
Everyone has goals in life; things that you want to accomplish. Whether it be obtaining a new house, or new career, spiritual growth or mastering some skill; nothing comes easily without hard work and effort. Laziness will hamper your ability to achieve your goals because it robs you of clear focus and purpose. You begin to doubt that what you want is achievable, so why try? Allowing doubts to take root is the underlying cause for laziness. Doubts come from the devil! He doesn’t want you to think that improving your lot in life is worth the effort, because he tells you that you are worthless. You begin to believe the devil’s lies and before you know it, laziness has settled into your life.
Once laziness takes root in your life, you “refuse the joy that comes from God and [are] repelled by divine goodness.” 1 Since you refuse to put in the effort to get that new house, new job, etc. you turn your back on God’s loving kindness and providence. You turn your back on God because you refuse to work with Him to change your lot in life. Laziness is the opposite of greed in that you want nothing because you are not willing to work for anything. With greed, you place money, power and/or fame ahead of God. With laziness you place “carelessness of heart” 2 ahead of God. Thus, as with greed, you break the First Commandment “to have no other gods before me” (Deut. 5:7). You place the false idol, carelessness of heart, ahead of God.
Breaking the Chains of Laziness
If you have become so disheartened that you gave up on your dreams and the fulfillment of your desires, then seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation to receive the graces necessary to make a change in your life; to live the life that God called you to live. Ask for the virtues of diligence, zeal and integrity to take root in your heart; to drive you to accomplish your goals. Pray for the virtues of faith, courage, hope, perseverance, and patience to see you through on the journey so that you do not give up on God’s plan for you.
1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed., Vaticana: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Print 1997. n. 2094
2 Ibid., n. 2733