What Busyness and Laziness Have in Common

November 11, 2022

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:1

One of the first questions we often ask when seeing someone we haven’t seen for a while is: “So, how are you?”

And most of the time, the response goes something like this: “Oh, I’m fine. You know…Busy.”

That pretty much sums up many of our lives, doesn’t it? Busy with work. Busy with the kids. Busy with the church. Busy with being entertained, We are a’ busy’ people. Even when we’re not really busy, we want people to think we are, as if being busy is something to be proud of. As if it’s a mark of our value.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone respond to that question with:: “You know…lazy.” (Well, of course, they wouldn’t say that, even if they really are lazy!)

I mean, we already established that being busy equates to being productive and valuable. So, that would mean that being lazy is totally unacceptable. Right? 

But what if busyness and laziness have something in common? And what if neither being busy nor being lazy lines up with the way we are meant to live?

So, what do they have in common? The answer is: intentionality.

When you are busy, you are constantly running behind. Constantly shifting from this thing to that thing, when you are busy, you aren’t able to give the time and attention to the things you wish you could. Intentionality.

When you are lazy, you aren’t running behind; you aren’t running at all. Tasks, activities, and people just sort of pass you by, and you don’t take any initiative to go and engage them.  Consequently, you don’t give the time and attention to the things that warrant it. Intentionality.

In both cases, whether we are busy or lazy, we are failing to move and act and give ourselves purpose. And perhaps, then, intentionality is the antidote to both busyness and laziness. 

Consider today’s convicting verse in Ephesians 5:15: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.

Nuance is everything in this passage. Depending on how you read these words, you can either be emboldened or shrink back. The hinge seems to be on the word “carefully.”

Paul says we are to be careful to make the best use of our time, always looking in every direction to make sure to avoid evil and that we’re not missing any chance to live out the gospel in our lives. Intentionality.

So, how are you doing? 

Fine?

Really?

Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor