Resignation and laziness

Good day all!

Recently I’ve been reading about the beauty of resignation to the will of God in all things. This brings me the utmost comfort and would be of great help to my spiritual life but there is one obstacle? What is the appropriate way to approach trusting God with a “hands off” living without being lazy or procrastinating? Where’s the balance between trust and action?

Resignation to God’s will is beautifully described by St. Augustine in “City of God”: “Work as if everything depended on you, and pray in the knowledge that everything depends on God”.

It is like predestination: God knows, being omniscent, who will make it to heaven. But that doesn’t mean people can lay back and cross their arms. Free will is respected while there is time and space.

To live without falling into the vice of sloth, or laziness, work with dedication, as the apostle Paul says, as if your employer was Christ, but also do what Christ said, that is, “do not worry”. Just give thanks for the work done for Him.

If you recall the parable of the talents from a few Sundays ago, that’s a similar story… Many of the parables are concerned with living the life of the Kingdom in peace but without sloth.


Well said. Replace the word “resignation” with “acceptance” and you should come out in much the same spot.

As I mentioned in another thread, although God’s holy will is one, it applies to us in two ways.

God’s guiding will (also called God’s sovereign will or declarative will) is Him telling us what He wants us to do through His commandments found in Scripture and the teachings of His Church as well as the inspirations He gives us through our reason, intuition, the events that happen to us, and the people around us.

God’s permissive will (also called the will of God’s good pleasure) is everything that happens to us by God’s allowing or preventing of the consequences of everybody’s actions (more often the former, so that we learn) and also by letting the laws of nature run their courses or not (again, more often the former, for He is a God of order, not chaos; that’s why miracles are rare).

Such an understanding of God’s will should help us in understanding how to practice “resignation” without getting “lazy.” Resignation is all about accepting, and even rejoicing, whatever happens to us because that is God’s good pleasure for us. We then accept God’s guiding will on how to act in response to this.

To do this we need two things. One is the virtue of faith, where using it we see God’s hand in everything that happens to us and His guidance in everything we do. The second is the virtue of hope, where we accept God’s strength to rejoice always and do His bidding in everything.

How far we go into doing all this is the virtue of love.

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