God's Word discourages laziness while encouraging each of us to
show thankfulness to our Creator by fully using the time and talents
He has given us. The Bible urges us to make the most of today,
realizing the brevity of our lives on earth.
Remember what happens when you exhale
on a freezing cold day? You see a white mist in the air for just
a moment; then it's gone. That's what our lives are like, according
to God's Word (James 4:13-15). We have only a short time on earth,
and one day we will give account of how we used the time God gave
In fact, the Bible counsels us not
to count on having even one more day. "Boast not thyself of tomorrow;
for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).
If you knew that today were your
last day to live, don't you think your time would seem so precious
that you wouldn't want to waste a minute? That's how God wants
us to view His gift of time.
Last of all, we learn from the Bible
that God abhors laziness. Doing nothing is inexcusable
in the eyes of our Creator. Not that He is against resting or
taking a break now and then. Remember, even He took a break on
the seventh day of Creation!
What God does not like is
a slothful person, a person who views everything as "too much
work". The Bible makes fun of this type of person, saying that
he won't even eat, because even lifting his hand to his mouth
is just too difficult a task (Proverbs 19:24).
So, instead of working on your "lazy
bum" impersonation, why not put your summer months to good use?
Here are some ideas that you can personalize to fit your individual
interests and areas of talent.
Be Creative. Craft stores host a variety
of classes, from
painting to sewing to cake decorating.
(You may consult library books for do-it-yourself
instruction.) Try watching TV shows, such
as Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls, for ideas to
makeover your room. Organize a music ensemble
with your friends and practice songs that
you can perform for church, jr. church, youth events,
nursing home services, etc. Plan a themed birthday
party for a friend or sibling. Free your imagination
to be creative!
Be Athletic. Try something you've never
roller blading, rock climbing, or playing tennis.
Stretch the limits of what you can achieve physically,
either increasing the speed or duration of
exercises such as walking, running, biking, or jumping
rope. Challenge your body to do a stunt that
is new, like pull-ups, push-ups, or cartwheels. Use
this summer to get in shape!
Be Helpful. I'm aware that this will probably
be the least tempting
type of activity, but you'll find that learning
these skills will help you become
in later years. For example, doing laundry
is helpful now, and when you're in college you'll
really value the ability to wash your clothes without
shrinking, fading, or transferring colors. You
can help your dad while learning automotive skills
you'll need once you get your own car: things like
pumping gas, replacing tires or windshield wipers,
checking oil, or a simple wash and wax. Babysitting
can also teach you valuable skills that will
someday help you care for your own children.
Be Productive. Nothing satisfies like knowing you've
made something that wasn't there before. When
God made the world, He said that it was good,
and you can feel the same way, too. Learn to
follow a recipe, assemble ingredients, and produce
a delicious dish for your whole family to enjoy.
Make a wreath, mosaic stepping stone, or even
create something totally new out of recyclables
you find in your own home. Plant seeds
to grow some colorful flowers or wholesome
vegetables. Write a short story or illustrate
a comic strip.
Be Entrepreneurial. Got good business sense and
a healthy dose of ambition? Unleash those skills
by starting a summer business--dog walking, babysitting,
window washing, or lawn mowing, for example.
Put together a family yard sale or help with
a bake sale to support your church youth group
or other charitable cause. You'll learn important
skills about money management and human
relations that will prove invaluable when you're
old enough to get a "real" job!
Be Wise. Why not increase your wisdom during the
summer by increasing your knowledge of God's
Word? Set yourself some reading goals, borrow
a concordance and do a word study, or write
some verses you like on index cards and see how
many you can memorize. Learning God's Word
is the best way to invest today's time toward
improving your reputation and satisfaction in
and other wholesome activities chase away the "there's nothing
to do" blues, revealing a more interesting and accomplished you.
When you make things happen instead of wasting your time, it helps
your days to end on a good note and instills a sense that life
is worthwhile. Doing, learning, and contributing nothing, on the
other hand, produces depression and low self-esteem.
Instead of being slothful, we should
realize that anything that is worthwhile to accomplish takes effort,
and the more effort we put into it, the more satisfaction we'll
feel in the end. Proverbs 14:23 says, "In all labour there is
profit," so let's get off of the sofa and make the most of