Tag Archives: Lazy

Fearful, Bored Procrastinators

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. – Proverbs 6:6‭-‬11, KJV

There are 3 main reasons people are lazy:

1. They think they have time.

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them
Matthew 25:3, KJV

“Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” This is a common saying, and perhaps you see the danger in procrastination. Putting things off can lead to sloppy, unfinished, and/or unstarted work, which in turn leads to problems, as seen in Jesus’ parable with the five virgins who missed the coming of the Bridegroom.

2. They are afraid.

“He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.'”
Matthew 25:24‭-‬25, ESV

“I want to make sure it is done the way they want it.” Whether it is the fear of failure, not meeting expectations, or doing something wrong, this fear stops us from doing anything. However, just like the servant hiding the talent, we could miss out on rewards in this life and the next.

3. They are … bored?

Laziness casts one into a deep sleep …
Proverbs 19:15 NKJV

“There’s nothing to do,” or “I am already doing something.” This is also an excuse for not wanting to do something. Living life, especially following Christ, is hard, so it is easier to do nothing. Laziness then breeds laziness. In boredom, everything seems pointless. At least while reading a book or playing video games or watching videos you feel engaged in something.

Yet, in all cases we are guilty of not doing what we ought.

May we follow the example of the ant. It is Christlike.

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Of Sluggards and Worms

Old Words

As I was reading through chapter 6, the first word that jumped out at me – and in this case it could be scary – was sluggard.

Sluggard is an old word, and one not used very much any more. It can be found six times in the King James Version of Proverbs, with the same word translated as “slothful” eight more times in the same book. Amazingly, it’s also used in most other major translations. However, the NLT translates this word as “lazybones.” Yeah.

It would seem that sometimes old words are hard to replace, except when the old word is too offensive.

When I think of a sluggard, I think of a slimy, fat, slow, disgusting snail without a shell. A naked, slimy, disgusting snail. Are we to think of people that way? Well, if the slime fits…

Old Songs

Sometimes old songs contain old words that are too offensive for our modern sensibilities. One song that comes to mind is an old hymn that means a lot to me, “At the Cross.”

“At the Cross” was written by Isaac Watts (not Chris Tomlin) and published in 1709. The first verse goes like this:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Now, if you search for this old hymn in a modern hymnal what you will most likely find are the last words of this verse changed. It will read, “For sinners such as I?” Do you see the difference? Sinners sounds less offensive than “worm,” doesn’t it?

But here’s the problem: If we have to change the words of song which was written in order to display God’s love and grace in contrast to our unworthiness, all because we want to avoid offending, then maybe we need to reexamine our understanding of salvation and the grace of God. If we can’t see that the chasm between God’s holiness and our righteousness is that of a King and a worm, then maybe we think too highly of ourselves.

Old Adages

Along with the old hymns and old words, here’s an old adage that I believe fits perfectly: “If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.”

Folks, if you’re fat, slimy, slow, never work, never care, never try, always complain, always blame, and sleep more than you’re awake, you’re probably not an ant (Prov. 6:6-8). Face it, you’re a sluggard.

And folks, if we find ourselves lying, lusting, hating, abusing, neglecting, idolizing, wasting, and being basically rebellious, then we’re not the Sovereign King: we’re worms.

We need to realize what we are before there can be a change.

But praise God, because of Christ, the change is possible!


Don’t Be Lazy!

Proverbs 24:30-34.

“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.” (KJV). 

The Fields Preached a Sermon:

In today’s Proverb, Solomon describes a story from his personal life. He tells about a time he was walking by the field of a simple, lazy man, and – no surprise – it was overgrown with weeds, the fence was knocked down, and there was no fruit. The lesson he learned? If you are lazy, and spend all your time napping, you will become poor really quickly, and you won’t be able to do anything about it. What a great lesson for today’s generation!

lazy

Today’s Lazy Young People:

I don’t know about you, but I have noticed that a lot of young people today lack any sort of work ethic. They don’t want to do anything, and they want everyone to do everything for them. There is a song by Bruno Mars that I think so perfectly captures the spirit of today’s generation: “Today I don’t feel like doing anything, I just want to lay in my bed.” It is aptly named simply “The Lazy Song.”

I know that I am greatly (and perhaps unfairly so) generalizing here, as I know that there are many young people who are diligent and hard-working. However, such persons are so rare that when they are seen, they are taken as a notable exception to their peers, and are looked upon as extraordinary.

The Book of Proverbs has a lot of warnings to the lazy man (or woman):

  • 12:24: The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.
  • 12:27: The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession.
  • 13:4: The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Application: How Then Shall We Live?

First of all, if you’re 30 years old and still live in your mom’s basement playing video games all day long – go out and get a job! (That challenge is only partly tongue-in-cheek). God’s Word challenges us to be diligent and hard-working people, and warns against a lazy lifestyle. The Bible says, “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23, NLT).

If you work hard and are diligent, God will bless you. So don’t be lazy!


A Good Excuse?

Proverbs 22:13 

The slothful man saith, “There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”
The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!” (NIV)

The chances of seeing a lion outside my house or anywhere in the vicinity, is extremely unlikely. I live in rural England, close to the border with Wales, where the largest creatures around are usually cows, which are not known to be carnivorous. There are occasional reports in the media that large cats of African origin have been seen, although this often appears to be an excuse made by farmers when they cannot locate all of their stock. But this proverb is not about lions, it is about laziness and the excuses human beings make to justify bad attitudes.

I wonder what would have happened if Jesus had been lazy? I guess that His ministry on earth would have been seriously curtailed. Fewer miracles, fewer people brought into the Kingdom, and demoralized disciples perhaps? And that is exactly what happens when modern day disciples are lazy. If more people in each church decided to get involved in the various ministry areas, spreading the load might just ensure that the word is spread more effectively.

If you want to know what Jesus thought about lazy people turn to Matthew 25:14-30 and read the parable of the talents. The key verse is the master’s response when he found one servant had buried what he had been given in the ground. Jesus told it like this:

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:24-30 NIV)

Opportunities

Proverbs 18:9 

“He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”
“A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.” (NLT)

Some of my school reports mentioned the word lazy. Laziness wasn’t the problem; it was just that I had more important things to do with my time. But if I wasn’t being lazy at school, I was wasting the opportunities provided to me by the education system (which wasn’t bad in my day).

Outside of school I don’t recall either being allowed to be lazy, or ever wanting to be lazy. I made the most of any opportunity to earn cash, but I also enjoyed the surroundings provided by my island home – mainly the beach! I had my first paper round when I was eleven years old; I washed cars, picked up leaves, and pulled sycamore seedlings out of our front lawn. When I was older I worked at a supermarket after school, and on Saturdays and through the school holidays. Then I joined the Merchant Navy where neither lazy people, nor wasters were tolerated.

While most of us would see a clear difference between a person who is bone idle, and one who is a waster, Solomon sees them as one and the same. Every day God provides us with opportunities that we waste. One is that we often neglect to spent meaningful time with Him. We fail to hear God speak, and we walk around with our eyes and our minds closed to opportunities of various types than He brings into our lives.

On Good Friday this year I had the opportunity to serve God – arriving at 07:30 to open the church and get things ready for the Good Friday breakfast and service, manning the foyer, and then helping to clear away and lock up. Others served in the kitchen, or leading in the three different devotional streams that our pastor had set up. Because some of us took the opportunity to serve, others had the opportunity to reflect, to take time to quietly worship, and to thank God for the events that took place during that first Easter. Those of us in the support team were able to worship God through our service to the rest of the congregation.

What opportunities will you grasp today? What opportunities will you miss? What opportunities will you waste?


Making Your Disadvantages

Proverbs 15:19

The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.”

Schooled

In early high school, I stopped caring. I saw little to no reason to try hard at school. Sometimes I was interested enough to put some effort forth, but mostly I just tried to skate by. By the time I was a Junior, my grades were … less than stellar.

When I went to college the first time, I did well, but I learned just days before the second semester started that two of my loans were denied. Instead of asking around, I listened to the first person I heard from who said it meant I could not go back. So I stayed home. I eventually got another two semesters at a community college, but I could not even finish an associates degree.

In both cases, I got lazy and prideful, assuming I knew better and could handle anything.

Following God

In the middle of my Junior year of high school, Jesus got a hold of me. I went to a youth event that stressed Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men“. I knew I had work hard at school. I managed to get my average up to a solid B!

With college, I was trying to do things for God, but I was not trusting in His guidance. I got good grades, sure, but I was doing everything under my own power. That is why I completed three semesters in four and a half years. At the time I write this, I am seven weeks from graduating from a good university, and I have been through more things during the past few years that have given me invaluable experience. And I have a vision for the future that has been made plain to me.

On our own, things will always get in our way, cause us pain, and lead to trouble. In Christ, all things are possible!

Powerful God, thank You for Your love and patience, and thank You for Your favor and help! Push us through the power of Your Holy Spirit to strive for what You have for us. Do not let us be lazy or prideful, but show us the path You have for us.


The Lazy Boy

Proverbs 26:14.

“As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” (KJV).
“As a door turns back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed.” (NLT). 

lazy 2

The Natural Lazy Boy:

It’s amazing today how so many in today’s culture celebrate the idea of being lazy. Today’s generation of young people with their “oh well, whatever, never-mind” dysfunction is everywhere you look. They say that there is nothing new under the sun, and it’s true. Laziness was a problem with human beings when King Solomon wrote these Proverbs nearly three thousand years ago.

In today’s Proverb, Solomon says that a lazy person turns over in his bed the same was a door turns on its hinges. There is a lesson in this! It doesn’t matter how many times the door opens or closes, it never goes anywhere. Ten years from now, it will still be in the same doorway. In the same way, a lazy person will never get anywhere in life.

It shocks me the number of young people today who have no work ethic, and no motivation or desire to do anything with their lives. I know of young people who get a job but it doesn’t last because a few days or weeks into the job they don’t feel like working, so they just don’t show up to work so they get fired, or they eventually quit. I know of a man who goes from job to job, quitting one and being fired from another, and the saddest part of this story is that his son is following in his footsteps as well.

The Spiritual Lazy Boy:

Not only are people naturally lazy – averse or disinclined to work, activity, or exertion – but they are also spiritually lazy as well. There is no hunger or thirst for more of God in their lives, no passion or desire to seek the Lord in prayer or Bible reading, and no motivation to excel in living lives of purity and holiness. People come to church content to sing songs and hear stories about what God did in the past, with no expectation of encountering that same God today. What will become of us as a people if we don’t change?

The Challenge: Wake Up and Work Hard!

The Bible gives us this challenge: “And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” (Eph. 5:14-16, NLT).

God has called every one of us to make a difference in the world for good. Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to prosper is that enough good men do nothing.” Let us be done with laziness in all of its forms – be it physical or spiritual laziness – and let us arise and let our lights shine in our world, that men may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven!