In the gospel of John (15:1-2) Jesus talks about him being the vine and his father the vinedresser. Verse 2 reads “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that I may bear more fruit.” To be idle is sin against God. It is against the nature of a God who creates, who heals, who produces goods from seemingly nothing at all. Jesus not only said that any unproductive part of him that is not productive is eliminated but he said that bearing a little fruit is not acceptable. Even the branches that bore some fruit is pruned so that it produces much fruit.
This idea was developed well when Jesus put forth the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Different people were given different amounts of talents to work with. Some produced fruit and some did not. he one who did not was not only punished severely, but the talents that he was given was taken and given to the servant who had the most. How well do you think the welfare office will accept this philosophy? Sometimes our society does things as backwards as you possibly can. Idleness should never be rewarded. If those that can work do work there would be an abundance of money left over for those who can’t work.
All in all I guess the point I am trying to make is that to be a Christian is to be productive in all your endeavors. I don’t mean that you are always successful in everything that you do, but your life should produce fruit that is acceptable to God. My mother once said, when I was young, that to get married with the intention of never having any children is a sin. I pondered this thought for many years and not until I was an adult could I appreciate what she said. To get married just to have good sex or for some other selfish reason is a prime example of what Jesus is talking about. To have a marriage that intentionally produces nothing is sin. To think that you are set on this earth for the sole reason of using up as much resources for your selfish desires and never giving to others or for others is against the nature of God. Isaiah discusses this issue by saying that God planted a good garden but got only bad fruit. This garden, he said, will be burned and trampled down (Isaiah 5:1-7). This literally happened in A.D. 70 when the Romans burned Jerusalem down and ended their vain sacrifices. This was the time that the true church was ushered in and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. This is a kingdom that has Jesus as the king. This kingdom is productive. This kingdom feeds the poor, heals the sick and gives hope to the hopeless. This kingdom is the salt of the earth that preserves and beautifies. It gives life to dead things and happiness to the downtrodden.
My challenge to all is this. If it seems like you are just spinning your wheels then stop and be still long enough to hear what God is saying. This is a challenge to me also. If you are one that has been avoiding Jesus Christ all these years then maybe it is time you find out where the true source of power is. Jesus, with compassion, was calling us all when he said “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for you souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Suggested further reading (Matthew 7:15-20)