Photo of Ray Van Neste From Baptist Press.

Baptist Press

By Ray Van Neste, posted May 17, 2024 in Discipleship

Dear Class of 2024,

‘Tis the season for graduation addresses, and as a college professor for many years I’d like to share some thoughts with you (and others who might want to listen in). Our culture encourages you to laziness, and then, mocks and caricatures you as lazy. The truth is if you want a meaningful, worthwhile life, you must work hard.

It is odd to me to hear the word lazy used in a positive, or at least neutral, sense. It wasn’t that way when I was a kid. If you called a man lazy, you could have a fistfight. Now, I regularly hear students say, “I’m just being lazy.” I think they usually mean they are resting. Rest is good and necessary, and appropriate after hard work. Laziness isn’t rest; it is the avoidance of work and is sinful. Don’t let yourself make peace with laziness any more than you would with any other sin.

If you want to be godly, you must be a hard worker. J. Oswald Sanders, in his book “Spiritual Leadership,” wrote,

“If a Christian is not willing to rise early and work late, to expend greater effort in diligent study and faithful work, that person will not change a generation. Fatigue is the price of leadership. Mediocrity is the result of never being tired.”

I love that quote! It is directly counter to the spirit of the age which says, “If you’re tired, don’t do anything.” Often “I’m tired” or I’m busy” are the reflex answer when someone asks how you are doing. I have decided for myself that when people ask how I am doing, there are two things I will not say: “I am busy,” or “I am tired.” I will not contribute to this complaining spirit of laziness. I will tell close friends about struggles I’m having, but I have removed these two comments from my options for common response. More Here

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