Have you heard of sloth? Perhaps you recognize the term as one of the “seven deadly sins” (which is not exactly a Lutheran list). Most of us probably think of sloth as a synonym for laziness. “The early bird gets the worm,” we say as we try to “encourage” a slothful person.
But slothfulness has a darker side, a spiritual dimension. Spiritual sloth kills the soul; it hardens the heart against the proclamation of the Gospel. A spiritually slothful person might have all the outward signs of energy and life, yet be struggling with deep questions of faith and God’s existence.
The March issue of The Lutheran Witness digs into acedia, the Greek word for sloth, as this spiritual malady has often been called. The Rev. Jason Braaten diagnoses the spiritual sloth many Christians in America face but does not point to a silver bullet or easy life hack to solve the problem. The Rev. Dr. Stephen Pietsch offers some practical suggestions for fighting acedia in your own life.
Stacey Egger profiles a life lived in service to God and neighbor in a feature about the Rev. Dr. William Matzat and his work at Dovetail Creations. Anyone who enjoys making a little “man glitter” (sawdust) will enjoy this article. And on the subject of zeal for service of God and neighbor, the Rev. Roy S. Askins writes “And Still Takes Care of Them.”
To help as you work through your own struggle with sloth and recapture the zeal of service to God and your neighbor, pick up your copy of the March issue of The Lutheran Witness. Enjoy web-exclusive stories and a selection of articles from the print magazine at witness.lcms.org.
Posted March 7, 2022