Sloth – Gilligan

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CAST AWAY Sloth – Gilligan

John 5:1-9

5 After this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 In Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate in the north city wall is a pool with the Aramaic name Bethsaida. It had five covered porches, 3 and a crowd of people who were sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed sat there. 5 A certain man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, knowing that he had already been there a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I don’t have anyone who can put me in the water when it is stirred up. When I’m trying to get to it, someone else has gotten in ahead of me.”

8 Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 Immediately the man was well, and he picked up his mat and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath.


Sloth is an interesting challenge for us to address, given our “Protestant work ethic” that condemns laziness, and our need for Sabbath rest, which too often we refuse to take. But in keeping with the nature of the Seven Deadly Sins being more about our heart than our actions, we should define Sloth here not as laziness or the lack of productive work, but rather as apathy toward spiritual matters to which we should devote ourselves. Sloth is not caring enough about God to wrestle mightily with Scripture and spiritual disciplines that would challenge us.
Reflect on…
1) How would your day be different if you followed Bonhoeffer’s admonition “The first hour of the day belongs to God in worship, the other hours of the day belong to God in work.”?
2) In what ways have you failed to avail yourself to God’s means of grace and thereby committing the sin of sloth?

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