Have you ever found yourself in situations where you delayed in carrying out a duty or an obligation entrusted to your care with no valid excuse?
Do you sometimes procrastinate in carrying out some chores/tasks for a later “convenient time”?
When you eventually carry out the said tasks, do you do it shabbily or hurriedly just to “fulfil all righteousness”?
Then you are as well guilty as the servant in 1 Kings 20:39-40, who was entrusted with a soul but cared less about the huge responsibility entrusted to him. He lost his life because of his self-acclaimed busyness “here and there”; eventually, he paid dearly for that simple act of negligence.
And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.
And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.
Simply put, negligence is the non-performance of an assigned or expected action, or sometimes, the performance of unsolicited tasks (especially when it contradicts a law).
Synonymous words like carelessness, neglectfulness, slackness, foolhardiness, forgetfulness, rashness, recklessness, wildness, omission, delinquency, irresponsibleness, misconduct, misdirection, mishandling, mismanagement, heedlessness, incautiousness, laxness, remissness, dereliction, incautiousness, inattentiveness, obliviousness, unwariness, and so on, aptly describe the word “negligence”.
Many a time, we ignore warning signs that can help us avert impending dangers, simply because we believe other things striving for our attention are more important than the seemingly inconsequential tasks entrusted to us.
There are great dangers in such assumptions. Let’s examine some of them:
It Causes Untimely Death
The consequence of negligence can be graven, especially when warning signs are deliberately ignored. Consider Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:7) who ignored God’s order on the proper handling of the sacred and dreaded Ark of Covenant by his seeming overzealousness to “protect” it from falling. Before he had the opportunity to retrace his steps, his life had gone for it. In our Christian journey, we must be zealous for “good works” for the Lord, but while we are at it, we should not ignore the warning signs because this may be counted as negligence.
Acting in Negligence incurs the Wrath of God
Consider Abel and Cain when they offered sacrifices to God. Why do you think Abel’s sacrifice was accepted and his brother’s (Cain) rejected? It is because Cain portrayed a grossly rude, irresponsible, incautious and inattentiveness in offering his “unwanted” produce to the Almighty God, the Giver of all things. Eventually, he incurred the wrath of God after killing his brother due to jealousy.
This leads to eternal regret
During the time when Noah painstakingly constructed the ark, the people around continually mocked him, rather than join in the life-saving task of building a “life-boat”. They regretted their actions later, but it was too late. It was an act of negligence that made Lot’s wife “look back…and became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). Like Uzzah, she attempted what she shouldn’t have, and did not live to describe what she saw behind her when she looked back. What a pity!
Beloved, don’t be like the rich man in hell, who regretted his lifestyle on earth, whereas he could have lived an impactful life by touching the lives of the needy like Lazarus but neglected to help them.
Negligence causes wastage of resources
Jesus told a story of a rich man in Luke 12:16-21, who had a vain ambition of enriching himself at the expense of rendering a helping hand. He said “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry”. He was a selfish rich man who thought of only himself, but ended up loosing all he had. Such a waste!
This is a caution to ambitious rich people who are only interested in enriching themselves while neglecting the needs of the poor in society and needs in the Church of God. Such numerous resources would be wasted if neglected to be used for things with eternal significance. Even our God-given talents would be termed “wasted” if we neglect to use them in a godly way.
Conclusively, it would be imperious for one to claim that he was never guilty of negligence at all, as no one is without sin, which is fingered as the prime factor of this silent killer. Therefore, as a Christian, to avoid the consequence of negligent acts, let the Spirit of God lead you in all you do at all times. You must be spiritually awakened to follow the Spirit’s leading whenever he leads.
That is the only way you can escape the silent killer trap of negligence set by the devil for Christians.