Problems of the Heart #3
THE PROBLEM OF INDIFFERENCE
Ecclesiastes 9:9, 10
1. If stress is at one end of the spectrum...
And if indifference is at the other...
Which is the more destructive problem?
2. “Laziness is a major cause of evil, a primary cause of psychological illness and the main reason Americans are increasingly failing at human relations.”
– M. Scott Peck
3. The connection between laziness and relationship trouble is implied in Ecclesiastes 9:9, 10....and that is what we mean by “the problem of indifference.”
1. We say “indifference” because of the character of the “sluggard.”
a. The Proverbs identify some of the habits of the lazy which are sure to erode relationships.
i. 21:25, 26 – selfish greed combined with refusal to do anything
ii. 19:15; 20:4 – idleness that ignores passing opportunity
iii. 15:19 – goes for the shortcut and it turns out to be the hard way
iv. 12:11 – time and attention devoted to worthless pursuits
v. 10:26 – irritating because he cannot be relied upon
b. Laziness in the heart will come across as indifference.
i. It destroys the work of love.
ii. It smothers the desire to do better.
iii. It prevents action from beginning.
2. We must be able to recognize the signs of indifference.
a. Disorganization the waits to be told what to do – Prov. 6:6-11
b. Wastefulness that make poor use of resources – Prov. 12:27
c. Ever-present excuses for avoiding responsibility – Prov. 22:13
d. A run-down and unkept place – Prov. 24:30-34
e. Sees all the problems and thinks he knows all the answers, but is unable to take care of himself – Prov. 27:23-27
3. We can put something better than indifference in our hearts.
a. The Proverbs speak clearly of it: the diligence of the righteous.
i. 12:24 – the hand of the diligent will rule
ii. 16:26 – a worker’s appetite will work for him
iii. 20:13 – open your eyes and you will have plenty
iv. 24:27 – after that build your house
v. 27:23-27 – know well the condition
b. The New Testament raises the wisdom of diligence to a higher level.
i. Romans 12:11 – not slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit
ii. Colossians 3:23 – work heartily, as for the Lord
iii. Physical laziness is wrong (2 Thes. 3:10f); so is spiritual laziness (Heb. 6:9f).
1. Another word for being diligent: care!
2. Not in selected actions, but in the heart – in the persons we are.