“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12).

I don’t think I’m lazy. At least I am busy. I have put “learn to play guitar” on my to-do list every day for five years and never get to the bottom of the list. I thought I was inoculated from the charge of Hebrews 6.

But there is more than one way to be lazy: I have always found it easier to do the dishes than to delegate. I have not loved my children enough to do hard and consistent thinking about ways to promote godliness in them. But that does not exhaust the varieties of laziness either. None of the above is what I think God primarily has in mind in the verse under examination. Here is a cut closer to the bone:

When I have been assailed by emptiness or loneliness, I have almost always simply gone along for the ride, and let these have their way with me—leading me to where they were leading me. I have said I am tired. I have given myself permission to be controlled by feelings, by circumstances, by fears, by the past, by the future, rather than mounting a vigorous counterattack with truth. Why do we think that “fighting the good fight” of faith is anything but these private wars?

Once we begin, with a muscular faith, to engage in battle against these moment-by-moment onslaughts—even saying out loud into the air, “I will put my trust in him!”—we discover that we have never lived the Christian life before. We start to see that the promises referred to at the end of Hebrews 6:12 are not all on “the other side” but some are to enjoy right here.