Nurture spiritual mindedness rather than laziness

April 4, 2024 | 29 comments

I was talking with a patient about putting in some effort to nurture her spiritual growth. “That sounds like hard work,” she protested. “I’m too lazy to do that.”

We conversed more about the benefits that come from staying spiritually minded, and she decided that perhaps it would be worth her while to study and pray.

After putting in some time of consecrated study and prayer, she reported feeling much better. “Prayer pays off!” She was happy to report.

The sensation of laziness can be very misleading. To the dull mortal mind, it seems perfectly acceptable to not do anything worthwhile. Thought may stay idle, accomplish nothing of significance, and think, “This is perfectly fine.” But the sensation is an illusion and grossly misleading.

When a garden is left idle, weeds grow. The weeds need to be yanked to protect the desirable plants from getting choked out.

It takes effort to protect the good seeds in our thought, and nurture them to fruition. Prayer, study of truth, and effort to grow spiritually give us the understanding we need to stay alert to spiritual truth, cast out unwanted errors, and bring good ideas to fruition.

Laziness is a foe. Active spiritual mindedness is your friend.

29 thoughts on “Nurture spiritual mindedness rather than laziness”

    1. Yes, being a reader is the most wonderful opportunity for a student of Christian Science. One is pushed to do more than just read the lesson. It requires dedication, love, and more study to bring out the Bible lesson read in Church. Having served as Second Reader and several years later as First Reader, one realizes the need for more than just reading the lesson every day. I would read the lessons out loud and record the lesson, then listen to the recording. It helped me really pay attention to what the lesson was telling me. This may not work for everyone, but it did help me for the years I read in church.

      1. I completely agree Jeff and Suzy! Being a. Reader really forces you to delve deeply into the meaning of the lesson. Both First and Second Reader positions are wonderful ways to grow spiritually and find deeper inspiration. I recommend it! I am grateful for having served in both positions and also enjoy substituting when needed. I especially enjoyed picking the hymns.

  1. Life is constant prayer knowing who it is that guides us in every moment. Constant prayer is a life divine: knowing spiritual connectedness.

  2. Mary Baker Eddy makes this stunning observation: “The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappearing, and its aggressive features are coming to the front…. So secret are the present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on the subject which the criminal [animal magnetism] desires.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 102:16–17, 20–23) The aggressive…methods…of animal magnetism, or mental suggestion…are to ensnare us into indolence (love of ease)!!!! This comes about in several ways. 1. “I don’t want to”, an unwillingness to work for God. 2. “Work” for physical relief and a more comfortable physical experience, without a willingness to rule out sin in our own thought; 3. Constant pull of screen time disguised as rest, relaxation, and entertainment or amusement. And more. These are the ways “love of ease” try to keep me from being fruitful in my Christian Science practice. Peter’s use of the word “barren” in the New Testament means lazy! Laziness = unfruitful. Wow!! I like to pray daily, “‘Thy kingdom come;’ let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin [indolence]…” (Mother Church Manual, p. 41:19)
    In case anyone struggles with this, here’s an excellent article, an interview with Ron Mangelsdorf, called “Not for ease”:

    1. Thank you today for getting me off my “seat” and be alert now! The article was excellent and thank you for sharing it Angela. Evan’s remarks about weeding the garden is a great analogy as I have been doing that and now to do it spiritually !

  3. I love it! Thank you Evan, for posting this. I too, have been giving this idea quite a bit of thought. And as you can see from the comment from Angela, it’s been a topic of some pretty meaningful conversations in our home. I’ve been praying a lot about how this “laziness” plays a role in how I love (and see) myself and my fellow man. Resisting the temptation to judge. When I realized judging others is laziness, it kind of rocked my world. Below, is some thoughts I wrote out as a result of this prayer:

    “Things I continue to learn about love”

    If I wait until someone does what I think they should do, believe what I think they should believe, live the way I think they should live, or vote the way I think they should vote, then I’m putting conditions on Love.
    “But I just want them to do it this way, so everything can be the way I think it should be! THEN I’ll be happy and feel at peace.”
    What I’m really saying is: “I don’t wanna have to do the work, it’s too hard!”
    Is it hard sometimes to break through the resistance, the resentment, the hurt, the judgment, the fear and just love?
    Hell yeah!
    Does it take effort?
    Sure does!
    Does it feel messy at times?
    That’s ok!! We’re learning!
    It’s not my business what someone else has to learn! It’s my business to love them. And them, me!
    What they have to learn is between them and God, my salvation is to love.
    Love demands of us to be selfless, to see our fellow man as a precious child of God, not a _________ (fill in the blank).
    So HOW?!?!? How do we do it?!?!?
    BE willing

    Be willing to do the work. Because as you wrote, “prayer pays off”. It is so worth the effort, it’s just breaking through animal magnetisms resistance to just start.

    Thank you for all you share!

    1. Thank you, Evan! and Angela and Whit and everyone else too! I needed to hear this. I’m recently retired, very active in our small church, but lately sometimes I take my ease, thinking I’ve earned it–which is fine in small bits but there have been days and late nights where minutes have wiled away into hours of unproductiveness even though I know there are much better things to do with my time! So thank you for this kick in the pants!! I really appreciate it.

    2. Whit I love what you said, that judging others is a form of laziness. Probably judging ourselves is too. It means we are just looking at the material surface of things and not taking the time and effort to pray to see that the mistakes or “wrongness” we think we see in others is not possible. We are tasked to see others and ourselves as God made us and continually sees us. And that takes work, but not drudgery work, it can be joyful work. To see the truth. It is our divine right to see these truths and not be duped.

      Also there is a wonderful comment from Kay that came in late yesterday which relates to this topic of spiritual laziness. I have the habit of looking back each morning at the previous day’s SV. Often amazing things come in “after hours.”

    3. Good points! It’s easy to be judgmental but hard to love when someone does something with which we disagree. Like you said, what they have to learn is between them and God. God doesn’t need me to police His creation. It’s my job to love and let God do His job.

  4. There is no non-productive state. Challenge the figless tree and say “Whither away!”. Joanne Shriver Leadom’s article “Dealing with the non-productive” is great.

  5. I replied late yesterday but wanted to take a moment today to say thank you so much to everyone who gave warm wishes and kind and wise insights, poems etc in answer to what I had shared about birthdays and aging. I appreciate greatly everyone here on SV and really felt the love circulating. I had a lovely, special “birth” day. There were many spiritual gifts, much more valuable than the material kind, It had moments of challenge involving extreme weather and transportation, but I remembered to “keep rowing,” as per yesterday’s theme. Blessings to all.

  6. Thank you Evan, Angela for that inspiring article and all for your comments. In the article it asks,
    “What would Jesus do?” .. I sometimes ponder this with challenges and have more so, recently… . Would he sit quietly in silence if he saw others and a need to nurture their and his own spiritual prowess? Would he just sit and listen or would he reflect the goodness and multiply its power? Would he be shackled by any belief that he should just sit idle and not try to fulfill a need that might
    be desired or achieved? Would he have the strength and courage to stand up to an error that stifles his lovingkindness? He followed the rules of his time that said he couldn’t teach until a certain age, but meanwhile was active in thought, when even a child, learning from the scholars. But
    when he practiced what he had learned, throughout that time, he nurtured the world and
    even to this day, his good works are cherished and adored by millions. His persecution was
    overcome and proved it’s powerlessness over his ability to work God’s work. What a perfect
    example he was to us all! By his works, Mrs. Eddy expanded on his spiritual growth and
    what she accomplished in spreading the Truth, inspires and illumines thought in ways that
    are timeless and continue on through eternity, because nothing can stop the word of God
    from being revealed.
    I am so grateful to be able to learn more and more about this Truth and thank you all for
    your thoughts.

  7. One of my favorite songs says our thoughts are prayers and we are always praying. I love this!

    Our Thoughts Are Prayers
    Words and Music by Lucille K. Olson

    Our thoughts are prayers, and we are always praying.
    Our thoughts are prayers; listen to what you’re saying.
    Seek a higher consciousness, a state of peacefulness,
    And know that God is always there,
    And every thought becomes a prayer.

    Our thoughts are prayers, the tools that we create with.
    Our thoughts are prayers that Spirit resonates with.
    Seek a higher consciousness, a state of mindfulness,
    And know that God is always there,
    And every thought becomes a prayer.

  8. Very good comments everyone – I especially liked Whit’s thoughts. – also the words of the song posted by Betsy in Bend.

    What came to me was that in Class Instruction many years ago, we were told that
    if a thought comes to you to NOT do something – then do it. I now understand the
    wisdom of this, and it does need effort to be alert and ready to respond.

  9. Hymn #109

    Here, O God, Thy healing presence
    Lifts our thoughts from self and sin,
    Fills with light their hidden places,
    When Thy love is welcomed in.
    Here Thy tender sweet persuasions
    Turn us home to heavenly ways,
    While our hearts, unsealed, adoring,
    Pour the fragrance of Thy praise.
    Reverent lives unveil Thy beauty,
    Faithful witness bear of Thee;
    Binding up the broken hearted,
    We reflect Thy radiancy.
    So may deeper consecration
    Show Thee forth in healing’s sign,
    Till through joyful self-surrender
    We in Love’s pure likeness shine.

    1. Dear Barbara, thank you very much for this inspiring hymn. I love it so much, and the words and melody are very uplifting!
      Akctive spiritual mindedness is our friend. We reach it through prayer and studying the weekly Bible lesson! Thank you dear Evan for these loving and inspiring words of truth.

      Thank you all SpiritView friends for your helpful and inspiring comments!♡
      Am grateful for Evan’s healing and comforting wonderful SpiritView Blog.♡

  10. The message today and corresponding photo and thoughts shared are so
    lovely. Thank you All!! Caring for gardens is such a joyful and rewarding activity.
    Being so close to God’s gentleness in flowers and beauty is something treasured.
    Appreciating the patience and caring that goes into this nurturing, is so gratifying….
    It can seem to be a lot of work to keep the weeds of mortal mind from choking
    out spiritual growth and progress, but our efforts in this endeavor are worth it.
    Seeing the flowers of our toil smile upon our thoughts, truly is a gift of Love.
    I have read, “when the flower blooms, the bee comes uninvited”…. We never know
    what Good our nurturing of spirit can do, until we do it.
    From the article that Angela shared, which is so beneficial to being spiritually minded:

    “Father, hear the prayer we offer
    Not for ease that prayer shall be
    But for strength, that we may ever
    Live our lives courageously”.

  11. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.
    (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 60:31–1)
    We won’t be satisfied, happy, until we seek these higher enjoyments.

  12. Truer words have never been spoken … or written. Yes, it takes effort, but when we are suddenly bombarded with a seeming evil we have something practiced to stand on … the sure knowledge that God is all powerful and ever present and right at hand, and anything that doesn’t line up with this is mentally immediately thrown out. I have struggled with this from time to time, but I am definitely seeing that with daily practice in turning thought Godward, mental weeding becomes easier and more spontaneous and natural. That is the great blessing!

  13. Hi…I know I’ve already left a comment, but after reading this post and the article Angela posted, I thought I’d share the inspiration that came from it:

    “WWJD”, we’ve all probably see this on bumper stickers and billboards (“What would Jesus do?”).
    I read an article today, and a sentence in there really kinda rocked my world and gave me a fresh take on some things. In it they quoted a hymn written by Henry Francis Lyle, “Think what Jesus did to win thee”. “Think what Jesus DID . . . ”!! It’s not so much asking, what *would* Jesus do, but pondering what he did! Ok . . . What did he do?
    He loved without condition.
    He cared for the poor.
    He fed the multitude.
    He forgave.
    He healed!
    I don’t have to speculate as to what he *would* do . . . I know! We all know! And . . . he taught me (us) to do the same!
    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12)
    “Greater works”! WOW!
    He wouldn’t have said that if he knew we couldn’t do it. That would just be cruel. He knew we could.
    So it’s not so much WWJD as it is, do I honor what Jesus did, and live out from that example?
    Even if you don’t call yourself a Christian, these principles of compassion, selflessness and forgiveness and love, still apply.
    Like I asked in a previous post…but HOW? How do I do it!
    Just be willing.
    “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5)

    1. Hi Whit, Thank you for what you have written. In our journeys through life in our
      quest to live as Christly as we possibly can, we are all unique. We are like individual
      flowers gathered together in God’s bouquet of beauty and perfection, each expressing
      our individuality, but yet collectively adding to the complete floral display of Soul.

  14. Wow! An incredible post, Evan, and all the various responses, articles, etc. are so helpful. I’ve read (and printed out!) the marvelous interview with Ron Mangelsdorf–much food for thought and inspiration. Thank you, everyone!’

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.