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Miranda Writes: You’re Not Lazy, Right?




by Omar Miranda



Lately I’ve been trying to go through a lot of papers that my wife wants me to go through, but to tell you the truth, it hasn’t been easy. I’m really busy during the day, and by the time I get unbusy, my energy level has evaporated—just like the day has. My wife calls me lazy now—at least when it comes to this—and I don’t like that word. When I think of somebody who’s lazy, I think of somebody who isn’t working to provide for themselves, their families, and for others. I think of somebody who wants not just some things but everything handed to them on a silver platter.

Now, I want to make something really clear: I am not lazy . . . I am a procrastinator. There’s a difference. A lazy person doesn’t do something, and a procrastinator doesn’t do something . . . right away; they usually wait until later. Like we always say in Procrastinators International, “Why do something today when you can put it off until tomorrow!” But all kidding aside, laziness and procrastination are all the same thing. Procrastination is like laziness on the installment plan. OK, OK, maybe procrastination is the brother—or at least the cousin—of laziness, but the main point is that they’re both related.

Of course, nowadays, in the politically correct world we live in, I’ve had many conversations with parents, principals, pastors, and teens themselves about why many teens are so “unmotivated.” I have discussed many things and come to this realization: this issue of laziness, procrastination, and unmotivation stems from the same root cause: someone not feeling the consequence of their choices. For instance, when I slacked all year long at school, I failed. I had the distinct opportunity and honor of gracing all my seventh grade teachers with my presence for another year—lucky them. Guess what? I failed only once. I got the consequences of my choices, and I didn’t like it, not one bit!

In our world, too many times too many people make too many excuses for teens. The Bible makes it clear that if you’re lazy, bad things will happen. Take a look at this passage of Scripture: “You lazy people can learn by watching an anthill. Ants don’t have leaders, but they store up food during harvest season. How long will you lie there doing nothing at all? When are you going to get up and stop sleeping? Sleep a little. Doze a little. Fold your hands and twiddle your thumbs. Suddenly, everything is gone, as though it had been taken by an armed robber” (Proverbs 6:6-11).*

Try these others on for size:

“Hard work is worthwhile, but empty talk will make you poor” (Proverbs 14:23).

“Being lazy is no different from being a troublemaker” (Proverbs 18:9).

“If you want too much and are too lazy to work, it could be fatal” (Proverbs 21:25 [Think about this one for a while!]).

“Work hard, and you will have a lot of food; waste time, and you will have a lot of trouble” (Proverbs 28:19).

Now, don’t take me as cold, callous, or downright heartless. It’s not like that at all. It’s just that the Bible is pretty clear about this issue. There is a verse in the New Testament that sums all these verses up: “You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7).

Now that I’ve said that, let me say that not every teen who appears lazy and unmotivated is truly “lazy.” There may be other reasons a teen appears as such to someone who doesn’t either know them or know what’s going on in their life. I recently read an article (which can be found at www.newhavenrtc.com/blog/low-motivation-in-teens/) that very clearly listed some of the other reasons teens may appear unmotivated. Here’s a summary of the reasons:

• fear of failure
• lack of internal motivators (are worried about pleasing others)
• depression
• anxiety and phobias
• poor diet
• poor sleep habits
• drug and alcohol use
• learning disabilities such as ADD or dyslexia
• undiagnosed vision and hearing issues

OK, now that I’ve said all that, it’s time for the guilt trip. As Christians, teens should be not only the best students but the best kids, the best employees, and the best, well, everything! I know, I know, it’s a lot of pressure, but let me drop this on you: lazy teens, if not corrected, will likely become lazy adults. I’d rather you learn your life lesson about your choices, habits, and consequences early than have to live a mediocre, halfway, “blah” life.

Check out what the apostle Paul said to a young pastor whom he was mentoring named Timothy: “Don’t let anyone make fun of you, just because you are young. Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith, and purity. . . . Be careful about the way you live and about what you teach. Keep on doing this, and you will save not only yourself, but the people who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:12-16). See what I mean? Your parents were right: God tells you to set the example! Don’t let others do it for you. Show the adults—and the world—what a true Christian looks like. God wants us as Christians to model excellence for others, which we can do with His help.

I hope you’ve been thinking about and processing this information and applying it to your life. So many times it’s easy to read things and think, Man, my friend needs to read this, or This is exactly what my girlfriend needs to hear! But since you can control and change only one person’s life—your own—what are you going to do with the information you’ve just read?

To help you along, here are some questions to think about: Are you doing as much as you can do? Are you lazy? Are you a procrastinator? Are there areas of your life that you’re doing well—and not so well—in? How can you make a change? Where does it need to start? Who do you need to get to help keep you accountable?

God doesn’t want us to make any excuses about how we’re living our lives. He wants us to live our lives and be examples for Him through everything we do. “When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Ask for His help in all of this and live your life for Him. You’ll be glad you did.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

*Scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.


 





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