LAZINESS AND SELFISHNESS- THE SAME THING?
Recently, the Lord impressed my heart on doing an article on laziness. I thought, “Well, that will be a short article, as you are either lazy or you’re not!” While thinking of this topic, we had a visiting speaker at church and his wife held a Ladies’ Session. The session was not on this in particular, BUT, during her speaking time, she shared a situation that had recently happened to her. She said that one morning she woke and so wanted to: 1. NOT make breakfast for her kids; 2. NOT do what she should do as a wife and mother, and; 3. Maybe, even have a totally selfish day and go to the mall….to buy earrings! She quickly realized how selfish that was and visited with the Lord about her attitude and “sin” of selfishness/laziness. She decided to resume her role as wife and mother and I can only think she did it cheerfully! I realize that EVERY lady has these days, and thinks, “wouldn’t it be nice to just____________(fill-in-the blank), and NOT do what I should be doing?” But, the fact that this lady saw it for what it was, and did the RIGHT thing, was a blessing and encouragement.
Let’s think about laziness and selfishness. First, some background- my mom and dad HATED laziness. I don’t think either one of them had a lazy bone in their body. If you consider when I was raised- born in 1951- we did not have all the conveniences we do now. In many ways, that was such a blessing. Just to get through a day, week, or month, there was WORK, WORK, and more WORK! Each task depended on the previous task. There were few short cuts. Laundry was done frequently, as we didn’t have many clothes. They all needed to be washed, dried, ironed, and put away. We did not make trips to a convenience or fast food joint, because of poor planning. No trips to town to “just do what you wanted.” There was a price to gas, you know! Everything was “well-calculated,” related to daily duties.
If you wanted fresh vegetables, you grew them. In the summer, you harvested, prepared, cooked, and enjoyed. In the fall, you canned so you would have nutritious food for the winter. If you wanted bread or buns, you baked them. This kind of living required pre-planning and organization. There were absolutely NO “prepared” foods in our house, because even though there were a few products on the market in the 60’s, they would have been much too expensive. If you wanted a “hot dish,” you started with ground beef, onions, tomatoes (that had been canned), and elbow macaroni! (No Hamburger Helper.) If you were “lucky,” there might have been cheese to top the hot dish! There were no car washes to drive through that I remember. EVERY Saturday during the warm months, we girls cleaned the car inside and out. Our single one pair of little shoes- handed down from one daughter to the next- got a spit polish every weekend. My mother hemmed our skirts and dresses up, and then down, and then up, and then down…depending on which one of us was wearing it.
I recall this time with favor, because it taught me diligence, hard work, appreciation, consideration, thankfulness, etc. Many of you did not have this kind of upbringing. It is unfortunate in some ways, that not everyone could experience this. As wives and mothers, maybe we need to check our “level of lazy.” There are always things we can learn and apply.
In some ways, we can all “suffer” from laziness/selfishness, no matter how we were raised. BUT, we can also eliminate laziness/selfishness from our lives, if we see it as what it is (sin) and desire to obey the Lord. Laziness really is a product of selfishness. If you “don’t want to do something,” it often goes undone. Think about that. What is that? It is your emotions ruining your “gumption” to do what is right. I know I often sound like a “broken record,” but if you DO NOT have your house in order, laundry done, meals planned, etc., there should be NO gallivanting around or doing “fun things.” It comes down to knowing WHAT your priorities are as a single person, wife and/or mother.
I would encourage you to read Proverbs 31 DAILY. Yes, DAILY. What will happen, if you read with an open heart, is that you will see your attitude change and you will desire what God desires: an unselfish, conscientious heart! Remember, you reap what you sow. Laziness and selfishness breed laziness and selfishness.
The problem with being lazy/selfish is that your whole house suffers- not just the physical structure (dirty, messy, unkempt, home), but your relationships suffer, too. Don’t be so naive that you cannot or will not see this. Again, most husbands appreciate a well-kept home—not pristine, but orderly and fun to come home to. Most husbands appreciate good meals and snacks on a timely basis. Most husbands appreciate you looking your best. Most husbands want you to be fully reliable, dependable and responsible as “caretaker” of the home. All kids need consistent, loving discipline, training, direction, love, and laughter. All of these things should be “normal” in our life. Every day should include dutiful duties. These are pleasing to the Lord and pleasing to our family. Selfishness is a big problem in getting these things done EVERY DAY!
Whether you realize it or not, if you take the lazy way, you are showing your children it’s ok to be lazy/selfish. As a parent, you have to weed this out of your children’s lives and promote industriousness and hard work. If you honestly assess your personality, and lazy IS how you are…….then perhaps you will want to do something about that. If you were not trained to be a good worker while growing up, that is certainly a factor, but it is NOT an EXCUSE. ANYONE can learn, if they want to change how they are. It’s like anything in our life—most “character flaws” can be changed with God’s intervention, and our determination and willingness. Selfishness and laziness are problematic, and so affect the home life. Like anything good in life, doing what is right is HARD WORK! There is really where the problem lies.
Generally, because of my upbringing and training, I don’t often have a hard time with laziness. BUT, there are times I do struggle with this. One difficult area for me is when my husband brings carrots, beets, onions, beans, etc., home from the garden. Seriously, about the LAST thing I want to do is wash all that stuff! (Selfish and lazy!) Most often, I try to help him get the job done. As he is hosing off the wonderful, bountiful blessings from his garden, I bring out colanders, Ziploc bags, brushes, knives, etc., so I can be helpful in trimming, scrubbing, packing, etc. During this time, which of course seems to happen most often at dinner time, I really try to already have dinner going, as I knew ahead of time he was going to bring all that produce home. We can “take a break” mid-stream, or have a great meal ready when we are done with this task. So often, I need to remind myself to be helpful, thoughtful, considerate, thankful- all those “opposite” words to lazy and selfish. Having the right attitude is a big part of acting correctly. It must not be about me, but about being a blessing to him!
Ask yourself the same questions? AM I LAZY? AM I SELFISH? How can I change this? Do I need to ask for help? Am I willing to read Proverbs 31 DAILY, and have the LORD change my heart and desire? Only you can answer these questions. May the Lord help you be the best you can be.