Slothfulness


30 verses from Proverbs: 6:6-11; 10:4, 26; 12:24, 27; 13:4; 15:19; 16:26; 18:9; 19:15, 24; 20:4; 21:17, 25-26; 22:13; 24:30-34; 26:13-16; 28:19 
 
It doesn’t matter if instead of "sluggard" you prefer the word slug, sloth, slouch or the more contemporary term “couch potato;” the common denominator is extreme laziness to the core. Those who live their lives this way are compared to “vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes” (10:26). Ouch!  The irresponsible choice to put the gifts and talent up on the shelf to collect dust and take up a life devoid of passion, pursuit, purpose, and profitableness will ultimately lead one to disappointment and despair.  
 
The Italian writer and poet, Alighieri Dante (A.D. 1265 – 1321), is perhaps best noted for a book he entitled, “The Divine Comedy.”  In “Purgatorio,” the third part of that work, he cleverly describes the purging necessity for the sin of slothfulness as having to run continuously at full speed for what seems like an eternity. Since slothfulness hasn’t changed much from the Middle Ages, perhaps this is an appropriate picture to come into our minds each time we see a runner running down the road.
 
The Proverbs of Solomon
  • Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard?   When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. 6:6-11
  • A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. 10:4
  • Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him. 10:26
  • Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.12:11
  • The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. 12:24
  • Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth. 12:27
  • The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.13:4 
  • The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. 15:19
  • A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on. 16:26
  • Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys. 18:9
  • Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. 19:15
  • The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth. 19:24
  • The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. 20:4
  • Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. 21:17
  • The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back. 21:25-26
  • The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!" 22:13
  • I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. 24:30-34
  • The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!" As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly. 26:13-16
  • Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. 28:19
The ugly HARVEST BASKET

Though a sluggard hardly ever works, he or she somehow still manages to reap a harvest. How can that be? The Apostle Paul tells us that, “whatever one sows, that will he also reap (Gal 6:7). Apparently, this works no matter the type of seeds – good or bad – that one puts into the ground. The nice thing for the sluggard is that he doesn’t even have to get out of bed to enjoy what he’s reaped. The bad thing is that it’s the ugliest, nastiest, and totally most unprofitable harvest you could ever imagine.

1. Hunger
 
Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
 but the diligent man will get precious wealth. 12:27
 
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. 13:4
 
A worker’s appetite works for him;
 his mouth urges him on. 16:26
 
An idle person will suffer hunger. 19:15

2. A crumbling house
 
I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. 24:30-34

3. Poverty & forced labor
 
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. 6:10-11
 
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. 10:4
 
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. 12:24
 
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. 28:19

4. A thorny life’s journey
 
The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. 15:19

5. A total loss of energy
 
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth. 19:24
 
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth. 26:15
 
How to become a sluggard in SEVEN EASY STEPS

Is the life of a sluggard appealing to you? No problem. Although it may cut across other’s best judgment, it’s actually pretty easy to become a slothful, lazy, unreliable and unproductive person – and it can happen much quicker than you can ever imagine. The key is to lose your zeal for life, motivation for achievement, and passion for God. If you need some practical help and a push to get there, simply use the last measure of your zest and quest for life and descend the trail into the dark and dreamy canyon of sloth by following the suggestions given below.

1. Sleep when you know you shouldn’t.
 
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?   When will you arise from your sleep? 6:9 
 
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep. 19:15a
 
As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed. 26:14

2. Refuse to work when you know you should.
 
The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. 20:4
 
The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back. 21:25-26

3. Forget the concept of excellence when you actually do decided to work.
 
Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys. 18:9

4. Focus on daydreaming and pursuing fantasies.
 
Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. 21:17
 
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. 12:11; 28:19

5. Keep your motivation low and don’t plan ahead.
 
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. 6:6-8

6. Deceive yourself into thinking that life is harder and more hostile than it really is.
 
The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!" 22:13
 
The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!" 26:13

7. Convince yourself that you are smarter than you really are. 
 
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly. 26:16
 
 
Selected Echoes from the Scriptures
 
The Books of Wisdom
 
Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. Eccl 10:18
 
The Gospels
 
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.' But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. Mt 25:24-28
 
The Epistles
 
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rm 12:11
 
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:15-16
 
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Col 3:23-24
 
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 2 Thess 3:10
 
One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. Titus 1:12-13
 
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13
 
 

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