The path of the lazy is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of those who do right is a clear road.
The desires of the lazy will kill them, because their hands refuse to do anything.
The lazy desire things constantly, but the righteous give without holding back.
A lazy person says, “There’s a lion in the street! I’ll be killed in the town square!”
-Proverbs 13:4, 15:19, 21:25-6, 22:13
Laziness is epidemic in our society today. We have a consumerist, entitlement culture; where many people are lazy. There are people who don't want to work. There are people who do have jobs, but there lives are filled with couch time. They expect to be entertained, amused, or catered to. They work so that they have money to shop, eat out, and be entertained.
You have probably heard the saying that I heard growing up, "idle time is the devil's workshop." Another saying is, "the idle person makes themselves a target for the devil; and the devil is a good shot."
God designed human beings to work, to be productive. "Go to the Ant, you lazy person", Proverbs 6:6 says. Ants are workers, builders, and harvesters. The whole created universe is moving. Things that are not moving are dead. We are called to live life, live it out, work it out; build, produce, and grow. In a word, work.
The refusal to work is the sin of idleness or laziness. Work is wider than punching the clock and getting a check. Work is productivity, building, or care-taking. The community is made up of workers who are producers, builders, and caretakers on the one side, and children, the elderly, and the infirm on the other side. Those who refuse to work are alien to the community, meaning they are pseudo-infirm. These are people the Bible calls lazy, sluggards, or laggards; who are out-of-synch with God's design.
The sin of laziness is a sin of omission, a sin of neglect, a sin of ongoing missed opportunities. But, people who are in that category are not doomed, because the Bible says that where sin abounds grace abounds. Every day is a day of possible new beginning. You can start over right now.
The idler may take pride in themselves that they have not given way to excessive sins, things they deem as the bad sins. But while they sit idle, a nest is made in their lives of snakes. There is a principle in the kingdom that says that if you do nothing, you will lose what you have: "use it or lose it". You either have faith, that is moving you forward; or unbelief, that is pulling you backward. The lazy person is under a delusion that they can play it safe and do nothing. They are fatalistic. The truth is far different. You can change your future through your actions today.
A life of frivolity, and amusement is not God's plan and is sin. The lazy person wants, but refuses to do.
The antidote to laziness is diligence. God is found by those who diligently seek Him. God gives everyone work to do. Industriousness preserves one against vice. Diligent ones use God's means of grace. Wishing and magical thinking are different than dreaming and miraculous breakthrough.
Lazy, slothful people are not righteous. They are opposites of and in contrast to the righteous. The idle person does not love their neighbor. If your life is a field, the sloth's life is a field of weeds and thorns.
Righteous work is not work for work's sake or to build wealth with no end. Righteous work is work with purpose, for self-discipline and unto service of others. The Sloth serves himself and the greedy worker serves herself too. Good work serves a purpose. You might work your garden, work at your vocabulary, work at studying the Bible, writing or inventing, learning, or caring for others. Work is God's design. Retirement is not part of God's design. When you stop working, you die.
Lazy people are self-indulgent people who say, "let me alone to enjoy myself ". But, the lazy person is not lazy with their tongue or their mind. They do little, but say a lot. Nothing is done, but much is talked about. Lip service is the lazy person's modus operandi. They talk but don't walk. Lazy believers listen to and talk about faith, but don't practice it. They can talk to you about Christ till midnight, but nothing comes of it in their life.
The lazy person has an over-active imagination. The idle person's mind is on their difficulties because they don't have a heart for work. The idle person is never at a loss to invent excuses for their laziness. Their tongues are busy and imaginations are on overdrive, while they sit idle. Their wild imaginative excuses become their best friends in their lazy world.
Ironically or paradoxically, the lazy person puts forth great mental and verbal effort to rationalize and excuse their idleness. They argue for their laziness. They make a case for it. They have a belief system that rationalizes it. They die a thousand deaths in the safety of their home, just thinking about what's out there.
We are limited in our time we have in this life. We can go bust or waste our money and always get more of it, but we can't get back lost time. Giving God time and giving people time is your most precious gift, because it is limited.
To sum this up, listen to what the writer of Hebrews says:
We want you all to continue working until the end so that you’ll realize the certainty that comes with hope and not grow lazy. We want you to walk in the footsteps of the faithful who came before you, from whom you can learn to be steadfast in pursuing the promises of God. -Hebrews 6:11-12 (The Voice)Working means good works. Our lives are poems written by God, who saved us to do good works He prepared for us to do, in advance:
For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago. -Ephesians 2:10God has made unique arrangements for you and for me to do good works. God is a worker and we participate in God's good works. God also is a planner and it is Godly or righteous to be a planner.
I am indebted to Charles Spurgeon's sermon, "One Lion, Two Lions, No Lion At All", from June 8, 1882