CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 23, 2011

Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Sloth #2: God’s Way or My Way?


CAROLYN’C COMPOSITIONS

LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS

SLOTH #2: GOD’S WAY OR MY WAY?

MONTE W. HOLLAND

INTRODUCTION

     The following study is a journey through Lent, the forty-day pre-Easter season (which excludes Sundays).  Easter’s date, determined by the time of the first full moon after the Spring equinox, is very late this year.

     Traditionally, many Christians use Lent for self-examination and a renewal of their commitment to their faith.

     This year I  chose to do a devotional study on aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins, sins identified by very early Christians as key behaviors separating man from God and God’s will. The seven sins are not listed together in the Bible—each is, however, spoken about in various Scripture sites.

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

GREED, ENVY, ANGER, LUST, GLUTTONY, SLOTH and PRIDE.

THE ASPECTS OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ARE:

#1 Breaking the Mosaic Law

#2 Defying God or rebelling against God

#3 Acts of violence to others

#4 Failing to make proper sacrifices or worship

#5 Not living up to or reflecting God’s glory (not living as one created in God’s image)

 

SLOTH #2

GOD’S WAY OR MY WAY?

SCRIPTURE: 14The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. 15The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed 5,000 coins to the first servant, 2,000 to the second, and 1,000 to the third. Then he left the country. 16As soon as the man had gone, the servant with the 5,000 coins used them to earn 5,000 more. 17The servant who had 2,000 coins did the same with his money and earned 2,000 more. 18But the servant with 1,000 coins dug a hole and hid his master’s money in the ground. 19Some time later the master of those servants returned. He called them in and asked what they had done with his money. 20The servant who had been given 5,000 coins brought them in with the 5,000 that he had earned. He said, “Sir, you gave me 5,000 coins, and I have earned 5,000 more.” 21“Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!” 22Next, the servant who had been given 2,000 coins came in and said, “Sir, you gave me 2,000 coins, and I have earned 2,000 more.” 23“Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!” 24The servant who had been given 1,000 coins then came in and said, “Sir, I know that you are hard to work for. You harvest what you don’t plant and gather crops where you haven’t scattered seed. 25I was frightened and went out and hid your money in the ground. Here is every single coin!” 26The master of the servant told him, “You are lazy and good-for-nothing! You know I harvest what I don’t plant and gather crops where I haven’t scattered seed. 27You could have at least put my money in the bank, so I could have earned interest on it.”  28Then the master said, “Now your money will be taken away and given to the servant with 10,000 coins! 29Everyone who has something will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken from those who don’t have anything. 30 You are a worthless servant, and you will be thrown out into the dark where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. (CEV) (Matthew 25:14-30)

23 Some of you made a living by sailing the mighty sea, 24 and you saw the miracles the LORD performed there. (Psalm 107:23-24 (CEV))

DEVOTION: It isn’t taking God seriously but taking God seriously at the right time and in the right way that often hinders my Christian walk.

     Consider finances. We are called to be stewards for God because what we have is God’s, entrusted to us for proper use. The Bible teaches giving back one-tenth to God for God’s work.

     I try to do that, seeing that one-tenth of what I am blessed with each year goes to work that glorifies God. In a sense I am like the third servant, knowing that God is hard to work for, and trying to make sure that I don’t step out of line and take risks.

     If I settle for that approach, I miss the point.

     God commends the first two servants for their diligence with all their resources. The psalmist points out that the fishermen see God at work all the time they are out on the job. My challenge is to see God at work all the time, and to be concerned with all the resources that God has put on loan to me.

     Beyond the tithe that I put directly to work on God’s behalf, what do I do with the other ninety percent? Does the rest of my use of financial resources glorify God even if they don’t count as Schedule A income tax deductions? Do I live within my means and stay out of unsustainable debt?

     On the other hand, do I step out and take some financial risks on behalf of others because it might help them be better servants of God?

     I have been burned in the past. I once loaned money for an outreach ministry that I never saw again. I must view such a venture as seeds sown. Only God knows what harvest that investment made.

     To live with zeal for the faith, leaving sloth behind, means using all the resources we have as though they belong to God. That means that I will be burned again, in the future.

PRAYER: Loving God, I continually need to be reminded by you that I am a steward of all that I have. Give me a gentle nudge or a sharp poke any time I use my resources without considering your will or when I brag about how much I’ve been able to do with my resources. Amen.

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To read the previous devotion, Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Gluttony #2: Eternal Riches, click on: https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/lenten-study-7-deadly-sins-gluttony-2-eternal-riches/

To read the following devotion, click on:  Let’s Kill Him

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Returning to life in the past lane

Navy Yard Broadcast from Pearl Harbor: Part 4

The Smart Car and Mercedes-Benz USA

Mustard

The Family Facilitator

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