READING: Proverbs 6-7, 2 Corinthians 2
“How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep?”
I usually work hard, but I can be lazy when I need to do something I don’t want to do. I procrastinate doing it. I watch TV awhile, thinking I’ll eventually start doing it. I look for something else to do. Then, the day ends, and the work is still to be done. The weight of the assignment still hangs over my head, and sleep does not come easily. It’s all silly, actually – brought on by my laziness and lack of diligence.
The writer of Proverbs also recognized the folly of laziness. While his warning likely focused more on people who are persistently lazy, he nevertheless spoke of the by-product of laziness: “your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit” (Prov. 6:11). Interpreting this text is not easy, but the underlying teaching is that laziness brings on poverty. The lazy might choose rest over work, but too much sleep leads only to greater need; if you don’t work, you ultimately don’t eat.
In contrast, the writer of Proverbs says, “Go to the ant” and “observe its ways and become wise” (Prov. 6:6). The ant has no “leader, administrator, or ruler” (Prov. 6:6), but still it industriously takes care of itself. It takes the necessary steps to feed itself and prepare for the future, taking initiative to work hard. The ant has enough sense to do that, but the lazy are not even that wise. Instead, they so sleep in that others ask of them, “How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep?” (Prov. 6:9).
The next time that I am tempted to be lazy, I pray I’ll remember this text. That, in fact, is one reason God has given us His Word – so we will learn from it, apply it, and walk in ways that are more pleasing to Him.
- Based on the simplicity of the Word today, be diligent and faithful in all you do today.
- Pray for someone you know who seems to be lazy.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to work hard today for Your glory.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Proverbs 8-9, 2 Corinthians 3