What is laziness? Laziness means having the ability to work but refusing to do it. Most of us may go through spells where we feel lazy, such as “having a lazy day off.” Sometimes, people suffer from depression or physical problems that hinder them from being as productive as they would like. This article is not addressing these people or situations. This article intends to provide information about what the Bible says about people who are able to work but simply refuse to do it.
Laziness can happen to any of us, causing a domino effect of problems in our lives. The Bible also offers us excellent examples of how to avoid laziness, which are discussed further in this article.
Laziness will ruin your life
“I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns. Its surface was covered with nettles, its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well. I looked on it and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:30-34)
The above proverbs illustrate a property that has been neglected and left to ruin because the owner was too lazy to take care of it. There are a couple things to note here. For one, when you allow yourself to fall into a state of slothfulness, eventually, it will result in affecting every area of your life. Your house, property, possessions, and even clothing may fall into disarray. Your laziness will become apparent to all.
Secondly, laziness doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. It begins with just a “little” sleep here and there, just a “little” nap here and there. Then, you start lounging more and more on the sofa while watching TV or taking more and more naps. You may begin to sleep later and later as the days go by until you find yourself in a habit of sleeping the whole day away. You may begin oversleeping and getting to work late so that you eventually get fired. Before you know it, you are broke and hungry. Your bills are piling up and debt collectors are burning up your phone. The next thing you know, you are so stressed out that it affects your health. So, laziness brings your life to ruin.
Laziness will make you hungry
“Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.” (Proverbs 19:15)
Many times, people will sleep to avoid facing a difficult situation or to escape their worries, allowing themselves to fall into a deep sleep. But, sleep will only compound your problems. If you don’t face them and conquer them, they will only get worse. You may hate your job and hate getting up and going to work every day, but if you let yourself get into the habit of missing work or being late for work, not only will you lose money on your paycheck, but it may cost your job altogether because these days, more and more, employers are making stricter attendance policies.
Laziness will make your poor
“Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.” (Proverbs 20:13)
As discussed above, laziness and love of sleep will make you broke and hungry. So, what’s the cure for laziness? Open your eyes! Resolve that you are going to be more diligent and more productive with your life. Set goals for yourself. Make a goal to start getting up at a certain time every day, and after you get used to that, set another goal to get up even earlier. Involve yourself in projects and hobbies that will not only make you feel worthwhile about yourself, but may also bring you a little income.
According to to an article by Psychology Today, people who in the habit of rising early tend to be more successful in life as well as happier and healthier.
Laziness makes excuses to not work
“The lazy man will not plow because of winter; he will beg during harvest and have nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4)
The lazy person will find every excuse imaginable to not work. Today, it may be because it is too cold, tomorrow it might be too hot. All these excuses will only rob a person of earning a living, and they will be forced to live on welfare or at the mercy of others.
Laziness will force you to be dependent on others
“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24)
Many people would prefer to be their own boss, to set their own hours and go and come as they please. If you can be a diligent worker, you may find success in self-employment, but if you are lazy, you probably won’t get anywhere except poverty. For those who have not learned to be diligent on their own, they have to work for others if they want to earn any income. Working for others is not a bad thing, but being too lazy to better yourself is a waste of potential.
Good examples to follow:
The Bible doesn’t just warn us about laziness. It also gives us excellent examples about how to better ourselves.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)
This verse is saying, consider the ant! The ant doesn’t need anyone to tell her to get up every morning and go work for her food. She knows what needs doing and gets to it right away without making excuses and without thinking about how much she would rather sleep in today. She knows she needs to eat, and so she gets to work. If we can learn to be like the ant, we will have what we need.
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)
Jesus Christ Himself is an excellent example to follow. Jesus took His work for God seriously. He often rose up early before dawn to start off His day praying. Then He would spend the rest of the day walking to various towns and climbing mountains to teach and heal people. The only time we see Jesus sleeping is after long days of working, and then sometimes, He was woken from sleep to save His disciples from storms.
The apostles of Jesus Christ also were diligent workers. Listen to what Paul said:
“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have the authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.” (II Thessalonians 3:7-9)
When we allow laziness to rule our lives, we not only suffer from it, but we become a burden on others because we then need help. Paul is saying here that they (the apostles) labored and toiled day and night so that they would not become are a burden on the young church and others.
Paul goes on further to boldly say, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (vs.10)
I think it is also interesting that Paul uses the word “disorderly” to describe not willing to work. A couple of verses down in II Thessalonians 3:11, Paul says, “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.”
I have read this passage about the virtuous woman many times. While I wouldn’t consider myself a sluggard, I would love to be just like this woman! Listen to what the scriptures say about her:
–Her worth is far above rubies. (vs.10)
–Her whole household never has to worry about needing anything. Not only do they have clothes, but they have nice clothes. (vs.21, 22)
–She provides food for her household and her servants. (vs. 15)
–Not only does she have plenty for her own family and servants, but she has enough to share with the poor and needy. (vs.20)
–She has enough profit to buy her own property to plant a vineyard. (vs. 16)
–Her children are proud of her and call her blessed. (vs.28)
–Her husband loves her and praises her. (vs.28)
Why does this woman have plenty? Because, she was a hard, diligent worker. Consider how diligently she works:
–She is always looking for things she can do to be productive and profitable (vs. 13)
–She rises before daylight to start working and providing for her household. (vs. 15)
–She works late into the night. (vs. 18)
–She juggles various jobs that include sewing, planting a vineyard, spinning material, and making tapestries. On top of all that, she makes linen clothes and sashes to take and sell at the market. (vs.24)
The virtuous woman is one busy woman! And as result of her diligence, she has plenty to show for it! Wouldn’t we all like to be in her shoes? It would do us all good to aspire to be like her, to follow after he example, and to make goals in our lives to be productive and profitable like her.