Rest or Laziness?

Currently my apartment is a mess. There is no poetic way to paint this picture. It is simply, a mess. Suitcases partially unpacked, unmade bed, old mail, groceries on the counter. But, hey, summer has been crazy with two big trips, recovery time, and the usual weekly expectations as well. Not to mention trying to figure out finances for all that is coming my way this fall. There is a whirlwind of happening and a girl has got to rest, so we can excuse the mess, right?

We are commanded to rest. Sabbath. Set aside time to be still.

Sometimes, that means excusing the mess. But not always. And not in my current case. I have not been resting. I have been lazy.

So, what is the difference?

I believe there are two main differences. Intentionality and outcome. Let’s break it down a bit…


  • Rest requires planning. Laziness just happens.
  • Rest means investing in your life. Laziness means wasting your life.
  • Rest minimizes distraction. Laziness is distraction.
  • Rest hides in relationship. Laziness hides from relationship.


  • Rest prepares you for action. Laziness dissuades you from action.
  • Rest creates room for you to be filled with life. Laziness fills your life so there is no room.
  • Rest removes the weight from your shoulders. Laziness adds the weight of guilt.
  • Rest sends you out. Laziness sucks you in.

I have rested a bit this summer, but in all honesty, mostly, I have been lazy. The housework has piled up, as has the guilt. The mess is driving me crazy, and yet, just as sugar begets sugar cravings, laziness begets Netflix marathon cravings. And like any bad habit, it takes hard work to replace it with good habits. However, true rest is worth the effort.

Still not sure what the difference is between rest and laziness? Well, I asked my internet friends for tangible examples from their own lives. Here are some of their responses:

Rest is meeting my friends for coffee. Laziness is spending hours liking and commenting on social media.

Rest is getting up early to knock out a few hours of writing. Laziness is sleeping in until noon and waking up still feeling exhausted.

Rest is sitting on the porch, drinking a glass of wine, chatting with friends. Laziness is always choosing that over the dishes in the sink.

Rest is watching a movie with my child. Laziness is watching Sports Center instead of taking care of life.

Rest is creating something. Laziness is playing games on my phone.

Rest is giving myself a pass one day on making my bed. Laziness is giving myself a pass everyday.

Rest is going for a walk. Laziness is not leaving the house.

Rest is a Chick-fil-a run so I can spend time doing something I love. Laziness is a Chick-fil-a run so I don’t have to think about what to cook. 

Rest is lying on the beach with a good book. Laziness is lying on the couch and playing games on my phone all day.

Rest is watching Gilmore Girls during the kids’ nap time. Laziness is watching tv all day. 

Rest is turning off my phone so I can hear from the Lord. Laziness is turning off my phone so I can avoid someone. 

Rest is spending time reading God’s Word on my own. Laziness is skipping church because I don’t like the sermons. 

Rest is deep, intentional conversation over coffee. Laziness is staying superficial with new friends.

So there you have it. Real life examples of rest verses laziness. What about you? What activities are restful for you and when do you know you have crossed into laziness? 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s