Stillness isn’t always slothfulness. In a noisy, hurry-sick world, regular silence and stillness is a necessity. Jesus himself “often withdrew to deserted places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Times of peaceful, un-busy, prayerful meditation on God’s Word are not laziness. God commands us to take the appropriate time to be still and know He is God.
Sabbath isn’t slothful. God commands regular rest from our work. We’re supposed to work more than we rest, but there is nothing sinful about resting and there’s nothing honorable about not resting. It is both unwise, irresponsible, and disobedient not to rest.
Recreation isn’t sloth. As part of God’s command to rest and his freedom in the gospel to enjoy the good gifts he gives us, there is nothing wrong with having fun via hobbies (like collecting shells!), vacations, games and sports, arts and entertainment, good meals, and just plain being silly. In the appropriate measure, recreation is good for us and reflective of the joyous heart God gives us.
Retirement from a job is not sloth. John Piper has famously criticised the retired couple who are spending their twilight years collecting seashells. But while Piper and I may disagree on this point, retirement from a career in itself is not greedy or lazy or otherwise sinful, only what you do with that retirement. Quitting a career to go on a years-long vacation is slothful. But those who retire from a paying job to devote their time to productive, industrious, kingdom-minded pursuits are to be commended.
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