When I was a young mom, I was teaching school, working on my Masters, supporting my husband’s business and raising two children. Needless to say, my plate was full. I remember lying in bed one night exhausted and thought, “If death feels this good, I welcome it.” I was feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, and thought nothing will ever change! The Lord spoke to my heart and said, “You’re being slothful.” I was shocked and soon discovered that “slothful” doesn’t have anything to do with laziness!
What is slothfulness?
Slothfulness comes from the Greek word nothros and describes something that is dull, slow and has lost its momentum. It’s a routine that anyone could fall into every day. You are on remote control and keep everything existing. Without thinking, you automatically fix the coffee, fold the clothes, tuck the children in bed and keep things moving. But…it isn’t moving with the same velocity and aggressiveness it once had. Therefore, slothfulness is when someone loses their drive, thrust, pace, and speed they once possessed. It is when someone who was once zealous and now is on remote control and assignments are replaced with neutrality.
For example, I lived in Maine and when it was cold out, I would start a fire in the fireplace. After a while, the fire no longer burned as hot as it once did. The fire had dwindled to a simple glimmer of its original intensity. It would still give some warmth, but not the way it once did. This illustration is comparable to the word nothros. It doesn’t present the picture of laziness; rather, it speaks of someone who has lost their zeal or intense conviction about a matter that once was of great importance. It’s a person who has become disinterested and whose zeal that has been replaced with a middle-of-the-road survival mentality.
How to regain momentum:
“Quit being slothful — quit acting like someone who has lost his enthusiasm and excitement and has now sunk into a state of being slow, boring, monotonous, sluggish, dull, and uninterested….,” Hebrews 6:12.
This verse says, “slothfulness” has nothing to do with the amount of energy to do a job. Instead, it speaks of what’s happening in our heart. Even though it may look like we’re going somewhere on the outside, inwardly we’re stuck in “neutral” and going nowhere.
In my case, I was doing a lot for the Lord and school; however, right in the middle of all the activity, I was neglecting the things of the Spirit. I was losing the excitement I once possessed. When the Lord told me to remove slothfulness from my life, He was calling me to eliminate any hint of spiritual neutrality and to reclaim the intimate relationship I’d had in my walk with Him. The reward was my passion and enthusiasm returned and I was excited about my future.
We must get serious about serving and pleasing God. He is a great rewarder of those who seek and trust Him. Repent and renounce loss of passion, momentum, and desire as totally unacceptable. Ask God to help you get back on track again! By repenting and deciding to turn from slothfulness and neutrality, you can remove this hindrance from your life and gain momentum in running your spiritual race.
God knows our hearts, and He encourages us to guard them with diligence: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” Proverbs 4:23. We should be alert to signs of slothfulness and reject the temptation to put forth anything less than our best efforts. “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ,” Colossians 3:23–24. Keep your focus on Him and you will maintain and regain passion with enthusiasm.