Reading the title of this article I have to admit that I sometimes am guilty of being slow moving, or at least I would like to be more often than I am allowed. I am getting to the point in life that many times I would like to just curl up with a good book or grab the TV remote, VCR remote, stereo remote, cable box remote and just let the world pass me by and not bother with it.
Hebrews 6: 11-12 has an interesting choice of words in telling what is expected of Christians.
The writer says, “11 and we desire that each one of you may show the same diligence unto the fullness of hope even to the end: 12 that ye be not sluggish, but imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” I wanted to especially notice the word translated in the King James Version as “slothful,” and translated in the New International Version as “Lazy,” and in the American Standard Version as “sluggish.” The Greek work used here is, “nothros no-thros” which is literally defined as: slow, sluggish, indolent, dull, languid or slow moving.”
One of the problems we see in the lives of Christians today is that they do the very thing they are urged not to do, they become lazy in their Christianity. It is so easy in this society that is devoted to convenience to sit back and wait for someone else to do what needs to be done. This is true whether we are talking about work; study, teaching or whatever may need done in our lives. People tend to want to sit back and experience success and involvement vicariously, while they themselves become more and more the spectator and more and more slow moving.
Christianity cannot be that way; this passage goes on and says, “but imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” The word translated here as imitators is also translated as followers. The Greek word used here is “mimêtai.” which is perhaps best expressed as “to mimic.” Notice 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and 2:14 for this word (our “mimic” in good sense). 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, “And ye became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit; 7 so that ye became an example to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.”
What the writer is trying to teach in this Hebrews passage is that if we hope to inherit the promise (eternal life) then we need to get our lives, our motives and our examples right with what is shown in God’s word. If you have time notice what the writer says in Hebrews 10:19-12:3, but especially chapters 11 and following.
Nowhere does it say this is going to be easy, in fact the examples found here in the later passages on Hebrews show it is going to come with a lot of testing. That however does not change the fact that it is necessary for us to actually do something in and with our lives. To be imitators of those New Testament heroes means that we have to give something of our lives.