Reading Proverbs 6:1-35
In Proverbs so far there have been a number of terms that Solomon has used to express the idea of folly; a fool who is “rebellious” (1:7), a fool who is “stupid”, not in mental capacity but heart humility (1:22), a simple, easily led person (1:22) and a scoffer or mocker also verse 22. In Chapter 6:6 he introduces us to a new one, the sluggard or slacker, the lazy person. It’s easy to be lazy, at least for me, both physically and spiritually. We will spend time in the days to come thinking about physical laziness, but have you ever thought about spiritual laziness? One of my favourite books of all time is Mike Yaconelli’s “Dangerous Wonder”. My favourite quote in that book is this ….
“Episcopal priest Robert Capon named the first obstacle: “We are in a war between dullness and astonishment. ” The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, He changes them into “nice people.”
If Christianity is simply about being nice, I’m not interested. What happened to radical Christianity, the un-nice brand of Christianity that turned the world upside-down? What happened to the category-smashing, life-threatening, anti-institutional gospel that spread through the first century like wildfire and was considered (by those in power) dangerous? What happened to the kind of Christians whose hearts were on fire, who had no fear, who spoke the truth no matter what the consequence, who made the world uncomfortable, who were willing to follow Jesus wherever He went? What happened to the kind of Christians who were filled with passion and gratitude, and who every day were unable to get over the grace of God? I’m ready for a Christianity that “ruins” my life, that captures my heart and makes me uncomfortable. I want to be filled with an astonishment which is so captivating that I am considered wild and unpredictable and … well … dangerous. Yes, I want to be “dangerous” to a dull and boring religion. I want a faith that is considered “dangerous” by our predictable and monotonous culture.” (“Dangerous Wonder” by Mike Yaconelli, Hodder & Stoughton 1999)
These words move me … And lead me to want to crush my spiritual laziness and embolden me to a life of Spiritual passion. Shane Clayborn challenges us, “We should be the most passionate people on the planet, enthused with passion. The word enthusiasm comes from two Greek words ‘en’ and ‘Theos’, which together mean ‘in God’ the more we get into God the more passionate we become.” ( “The Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Clayborn, Zondervan 2006)
John writes …
“Jesus made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area …. ‘Get out of here! How dare you turn my Fathers house into a market'” John 2:15,16
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise! (Proverbs. 6:6 NIV 1984)
Father, I ask that you would create in me a clean heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Lord fan into flame a passion for your name, break my heart for what breaks yours, show me what you love, how you love and who to love. Restore in me the joy of your salvation and please, grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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