According to the Encarta encyclopedia, the sloth is a mammal that lives upside down in trees and spends most of it's time sleeping. These creatures are known for sleeping eighteen hours a day, they are very slow moving animals, and they almost never make a sound. It is from this animal and its lazy nature that we get the word slothful. The word slothful means to be idle or lazy. It is also interesting to note that the antonym for this word is energetic.

There are a couple of scriptures that refer to slothfulness in the Bible. From a study of this subject, we must conclude that God is not pleased when we are idle or lazy in His service. In fact, on one occasion, the Lord told a parable about three men who were given varying amounts of talent. The story is recorded in Matthew 25:14-30.

Two of the servants put their talents to work and used them in the service of their master. These two men were able to double what they had been given. The master was well pleased with these men upon His return. The master congratulated the servants and rewarded them for all their efforts.

However, one of the servants hid his talent in the ground and did not have any increase to offer the master. The context bears out that the master was not angry with the servant for loosing the talent or for his ability to preserve it, but because he did not make it grow. This servant excused himself by accusing the master of being a hard man. Therefore, out of fear the servant did nothing. In the unfolding of the story, we learn that the master was very upset with his servant and commanded that he be cast into outer darkness. Look at the master's words. "But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed. Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest" (Matthew 25:26-28).

This parable is spoken, according to the context, to warn us about being ready for the judgment. The day of the Lord's return and the judgment of men will come at an unknown time. We should be wise in preparing and working toward that day. In preparing, we must not allow ourselves to be slothful or lazy. Of all the things that men may do to condemn themselves to hell; the worst is to do nothing.

Listen to the Hebrew writer's words as He encourages his readers to not let up in their service to God Hebrews 6:11-12 says, "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." KJV

There is one other thing to note in the parable of the talents. The two men, who were rewarded because of the increase of their talents, were given different amounts to work with. This is a strong indication that God does not expect the same increase of all his servants. God only expects our best efforts. As you read this text, it will be apparent to you that there are NO zero talent servants. We all have something to do for God and doing it should be a matter of first priority in our lives.

By David Thacker

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