“Procrastinator” sounds pretty respectable. Scripture translations use other words that are downright unappealing. In Strong’s Concordance, I found that “sluggard” and “slothful” mean “slack (put off), indolent, idle.” “Lazy” is “not inclined to work.” “Indolent” has a root meaning “lazy, seeking to avoid pain.”
What did this mean in my life?
I am being a sluggard, lazy, slothful when I do not do what needs doing when it needs doing – when I do not work in season. Certainly I am those things if I HABITUALLY do not do what needs doing when it needs doing.
Nasty words. For me, a nasty habit.
I was still baffled about “indolent” because I didn’t know what pain I was avoiding. Then I realized by procrastinating I was seeking to avoid the pain of doing something I did not WANT to do. I might play instead of work or choose other work. At 6 p.m. I could be deep into cleaning a closest. Did the closet need cleaning? Yep. Was I working hard? Yep. Was cleaning the closet the in season thing to do? Nope. Preparing dinner was the in season thing to do.
We should use kind, gentle words. However, I had used them to delude myself into thinking I was not so bad. I did not call a spade a spade.
I was masking truth when I needed the truth to be uncovered. My desire to change is dulled by the use of words that mask truth. I had to recognize that by repeatedly putting off what needed doing when it needed doing, I had become a sluggard, slothful.
Accepting biblical terminology helps me desire something better. It helps me submit to change.
Are you in the same place?
This week let’s be alert to hearing and using words that soften truth. Let’s think about whether or not that usage was appropriate, and recognize the actual meaning.