The great pursuit of the Christian in this life is to live, by grace, in obedience to God for the glory of Christ. Laziness has no place in the Christian life. Why? Paul gives us the reason in 2 Corinthians 5:14–15. If we were to boil his argument down to two words, we could say, “Christ’s love.” Because we are recipients of the love of Christ, that love of Christ now “controls” us, as Paul says. Living for Christ becomes the great governing influence of our new life—every sphere of our new life. To summarize the Heidelberg Catechism, our lives are not our own but belong, body and soul, to our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. As we wait for Christ’s return, we labor for the glory of our Savior, seeking to honor the One who bought us. This becomes our duty even as it becomes our delight.
Samuel Chadwick, a nineteenth-century Methodist pastor, recalled that once when he was a young boy, his Sunday school teacher spoke to the students about John Newton, the famous hymn writer and pastor. The teacher commented that if Newton had shined shoes, he would have labored as the best shiner of shoes in his village, because he would have shined the shoes for Jesus. This lesson captured Chadwick’s attention, because one of his weekly chores at home—the one he hated the most—was shining his father’s shoes. The next morning, he set about the task with his father’s shoes before him. He finished shining a pair, put them down, and looked at them. Then he remembered the words of the teacher. Chadwick thought to himself, “I wonder if those boots would look well on the feet of Jesus Christ?” He then said:
For answer I took up the boots and began again. It was a simple thing to do, but I believe . . . that it was the most important thing I ever did in my life. . . . I got in the habit of doing the simplest duties as unto, and for, Jesus Christ.
The Christian seeks to do all for Christ. The love of Christ, this extraordinary love, controls us. This means that we want to do the right things in the right way at the right time. Laziness does not always come in the form of idleness. At times, we will engage in something that isn’t necessarily bad, but in so doing we might avoid what we are supposed to do. Whatever the Lord sets on our plate in any given moment in every realm of our lives, we should desire to do, to His glory. Laziness must find no safe harbor in the Christian life if we are going to live for Christ.
Dear Christian, wash the dishes for Christ, mow the grass for Christ, file papers for Christ, stock grocery shelves for Christ. All of life must be lived for Christ.