I kind of enjoy reading about the sluggard in the Book of Proverbs. I find him a sadly comical character who highlights a lot of weaknesses in my own life. So it was with great anticipation that I read the short book (42 pages) Crazy Lazy: A warning against laziness by Alistair Begg. This is a great introduction to the sluggard and the challenges he delivers.
The first thing I noticed in this little book were the pictures. I particularly enjoyed the cartoon pictures on the bottom right of each page that you can watch by flicking through the pages. However, don’t let the pictures make you think this book is a comfortable read. This book is very important and needed in an age of procrastination. I’m sure many of us know what it is to whittle away the hours on Twitter or surfing the web. Begg is brilliant at painting a picture of the sluggard from Proverbs and then pointing out clear applications to our life in the 21st Century. This book makes you want to read the Book of Proverbs to meet the sluggard, but also helps you see some traits of the sluggard in your own life. This is definitely a challenging read. If you feel the temptation to be a little lazy, procrastinate or leave things undone until another day, this book is for you…and it is short with pictures. Perfect really.
However, I did find that the book lacked one thing. I am reticent to say this as a book of such brevity cannot be expected to cover every angle. But, I feel this omission affects the overall tone. Whilst I know that Alistair Begg is a Christ Centred preacher, and the book does mention Christ and call us to repentance, I did feel that that book lacked the hope of Christ. What I mean is this: whilst the sluggard is in the Book of Proverbs to warn us against idleness, and the main alternative is the ant…isn’t the true alternative wisdom…and isn’t Christ our ultimate wisdom?
I would have liked to have had at least a paragraph that said something like:
Whilst we may struggle to get out of bed and pray, there was One who got up and prayed early in the morning to spend time with God, and stayed awake to pray whilst others slumbered. Whilst we may make excuses not to serve God saying ‘there is a lion outside!’, there was One who looked at the roaring lion of Satan yet said to the Father ‘Not my will but yours be done’. The good news of the gospel is that our Lord Jesus Christ lived the perfect life of obedience we are too lazy and unable to live, and died the death that we deserved. And now, risen and ascended, He lives to pray for us and has given us His Spirit to live a life where we can make ‘every effort’. In light of this we no longer have to be a sluggard.
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by 10ofthose.com to review