Day 9: Laziness and work – part 1

The Bible has much to say about laziness and work. Work is something that is good, given by God. In the garden of Eden, God gave Adam the work of tending what was there (Gen. 2:15). We were made to work. Never forget that the Lord Jesus worked (Mark 6:3)! Although all our work is now frustrating because of the Fall, laziness is disobedience to God and its way is ruin.

These proverbs teach that laziness leads to poverty (Prov.10:4). Laziness brings shame and the lazy person irritates others who see someone who is simply unwilling to work (Prov. 10:26). So too, all talk without action leads to poverty (Prov. 14:23).

In contrast those who are diligent find all that they need (Prov. 13:4). In the New Testament, Paul says to the church at Thessalonica: “we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living” (2 Thess. 3:11-12). Whatever work lies before us today, according to our abilities and opportunities, may we honour the Lord.

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

– Prov. 10:4

He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

– Prov. 10:5

Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.

– Prov. 10:26

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labour.

-Prov. 12:24

Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.

– Prov. 12:27

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

– Prov.13:4

In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

– Prov. 14:23

The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.

– Prov. 15:19

Father God, in Your goodness You have given us work to do. Let us work quietly, giving thanks to You in all things. Idle hands and an idle mind delight the Devil, and so, Lord, help us to make the best use of the time that You have given us.

Lord, you do not look so much on the externals of our work, but You look at our hearts in that work. May we seek Your honour and to help others in all we do.

We ask this in Jesus’ Name and to Your glory, Amen.

– Graham Barnes