The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” (Proverbs 22:13)

Wait, wait, wait… what?

Not really what you would expect the proverb to say, right?

Not really what you’d expect the sluggard to say, right?

The SLUGGARD says there’s a lion outside so I need to stay in?

Isn’t that something a COWARD would say?

Why is the controlling emotion laziness and not fear?

What if the point of this proverb’s parable is that the sluggard creates imaginary circumstances to justify his lifestyle? And thus he is able to shift the focus from his laziness to the danger of lions?

No one would approve his staying in the house all day just because he’s lazy,

but certainly if there’s a lion outside…

Here is a profound biblical insight I think we all need to know:

Our hearts exploit our minds to justify our hearts.

Our hearts exploit our minds to justify what our hearts want.

As Piper says, “Our deepest desires precede the rational functioning of our minds and incline the mind to perceive and think in a way that will make the desires look right.”

Isn’t this what the sluggard is doing? He deeply desires to stay at home and not work. There is no good reason for him to stay at home. So what does he do? Does he overcome his bad desire?

No, he just uses his mind to invent unreal circumstances that justify his desire.

The heart says to the brain: “Here is how I FEEL. Now go out and FIND ME REASONS why I am allowed to feel this way.”

Doing the evil we love makes us hostile to the light of truth. We are, at our core, rebels.

In this condition the mind becomes a factory of half-truths, equivocations, sophistries, evasions and lies — anything to protect the evil desires of the heart from exposure and destruction.

Which is why the light of God’s unchanging Word is so important.

And our response of surrender and submission to it.

When we turn to the Word, I believe it is so important to ask ourselves this fundamental question-

Am I willing to surrender to God no matter what He says?

Am I willing to lay down whatever it is I think I have rationalized or justified as being acceptable and accept whatever it is He says on the issue?

Or am I just going to reinterpret what He says in light of my present circumstances in a way that allows me to still be in charge?

I believe this is the fundamental question at the core of who we are in Christ.

This is the difference between Creator and created being.

It is pride that led to our original fall. Pride and our subsequent rebellion.

It is surrender that leads to our redemption. Surrender and our daily, ongoing submission.

The Christian life is one marked by SURRENDER.

Lord, may it be so.

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