There are divergent perspectives on the question – can a righteous person be lazy? The views come from two sources – righteousness as an English word and righteousness as a biblical term.
What is the literal meaning of righteousness?
Literally, righteousness connotes living right, living a life of uprightness or high moral standards. Men set morals and they could mean different things in different cultures.
This notwithstanding, laziness is considered bad worldwide (I stand to be corrected) so it wouldn’t even fit into the body of morals that make up righteousness in the human sense of the word.
What is the biblical meaning of righteousness?
Biblically, which is the angle we are expected to judge things from as Deliberate Christians, righteousness is NOT a list of things Christians do that make them look good before God.
Righteousness is a gift we receive from God because of the sacrifice Jesus did on our behalf on the cross of Calvary.
For Hev made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him - 2 Corinthians 5:21
This explains why we are the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Apart from Christ, no man can attain righteousness regardless of how hard they try.
The Bible says our righteousness is like a filthy rag before God.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rages;we all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6 The Deliberate Christian Prayer Bank is full of bible-based and Holyspirit inspired prayers on diverse topics Go there now.
What does the righteousness of Christ entail?
The righteousness of Christ which has also become our righteousness by faith in the finished work of Christ entails all that Christ is. Righteousness encompasses all that we can refer to as the attributes of Christ.
His words, his thoughts, his deeds, his judgments, his will, his way etc
From the paragraph above, we can infer that there cannot be an exhaustive list of what righteousness is. It is therefore not a mere activity, but a lifestyle.
Since we have been gifted righteousness by Christ, it encompasses all there is to us, the what, when, why, how, who, and where of life.
What is laziness?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, laziness is the quality of not being willing to work or use any effort.
Can a righteous person be lazy?
Before answering this question, we would need to answer the question – can God be lazy?
The reason is that righteousness is God. If a person is considered truly righteous, righteousness is not by or from him. It was imputed.
Can God be lazy?
lazy and God are two words that sound awkward. They can’t even be paired.
God cannot be lazy because
- He created heaven and earth in 6 days, and only rested on the 7th. Creation remains unfathomable to the wisest of men. How could all we know as earth be created in 6 days?
- Let’s not talk about heaven we do not even know half of what heaven is. Genesis 1
- He attends to the needs of all living beings per moment without leaving anyone unattended including the evil ones – Psalm 145:16
- Regardless of the number of people calling God per moment, he hears and answers us. Romans 10:13
- All creations attest to his diligence and attention to detail.
- Who tells the day to break? He tells the moon to come out? Who tells the sun it is time to retire?
- He is the God of all flesh. Nothing is too difficult for him. His hands are never too short to help his ears are never deaf. Jeremiah 32:27
- In Him were all things made, without him was nothing made that was made. Colossians 1:16-17
- The Lord is righteous in all his ways – Psalm 145:17
Can a Christ-imputed righteous person be lazy?
If righteousness is all that Christ is, and the righteousness that is Christ’s is imputed to believers by faith, it is therefore impossible for a possessor of the righteous person of Christ to be lazy because laziness cannot be found in Christ.
You were taught with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. - Ephesians 4:22-24
Why then do we have Christians who are lazy?
Laziness is a human-nature trait. Laziness is not from God and cannot be found in God.
It is not everyone who identifies as a Christian that is truly one. True Christians are believers. They receive by faith all that Christ has given.
They are Christ-like; thinking, talking, doing and living like Christ.
A lazy man who receives the gift of righteousness by faith cannot remain lazy because the excellent spirit of God will produce diligence in him.
The spirit of Jesus quickens mortal bodies. The Spirit works in us both to will and to do God’s good pleasures.
But if the Spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you - Romans 8:11 For it is God who works in you to will and to do of his good pleasures - Philippians 2:13
Jesus reiterated his commitment to work when he said I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day, the night cometh when no man can work - John 9:4
The spirit also expressly states through Paul – He who does not work should not eat.
Accepting Christ as Lord and saviour is accepting all that he is, all that he says and all that he does, and by his spirit, replicating the same.
Manifesting the righteousness of Jesus starts as a walk of faith before it becomes a work of faith
Abraham walked with God for a while and still had many shortcomings. As he progressed in his walk with God by faith, his obedience was counted as righteousness.
A lazy Christian is one who has confessed Christ as Lord but has not come to know that he is a possessor of the righteousness of Christ and has therefore not commenced the walk of faith to access that which he already possesses. With truth comes deliverance.
In summary, can a righteous person be lazy, No (spiritually and literally), but are there lazy Christians, yes, because they might really not be Christians or they might be Christians because they only confessed him as Lord without daily walking with him to access the righteousness he has given(this is called Sanctification).
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