Bowie Apostolic Church
Proverbs Day 17
Posted on January 20th, 2013

Work Ethic and Laziness

Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, O sluggard;  consider her ways, and be wise. 7  Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.  9  How long will you lie there, O sluggard?  When will you arise from your sleep?  10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 11  and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

Prov 24:30 I passed by the field of the sluggard And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,31 And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles; Its surface was covered with nettles, And its stone wall was broken down.32 When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction. 33 "A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest," 34 Then your poverty will come as a robber And your want like an armed man. 

Prov 26:14 As the door turns on its hinges, So does the sluggard on his bed. 15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again. 16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.

Prov 19:15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep,  And an idle man will suffer hunger.

Prov 20:13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

Prov 21:25 The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work; 26 All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back.
Ok. I was just having fun with the picture. I didn't read the number either. :-) But really.....

In all cases, it is better for scripture to become part of our character than to just make rules for us to follow. Keeping rules will be worrisome to the mind, but praying that God changes our character is a sure way to be transformed (Romans 12:2).

Laziness (and his brother procrastination) is a timeless vice that has been spoken against in scripture through the centuries. If we are honest with ourselves, even hard working people in one area can be lazy procrastinators in some area of their lives. If you look around today, people are lazy in all types of areas. Whether it is their jobs, health, taxes, or relationships we can see this trait all around us.

Even so, the true context of this scripture is something more severe. It is true now. It was true 3,000 years ago or so when Proverbs was written. It was written 2,000 years ago in the words of Paul below. It doesn't change; either in the church or outside the church. This is what Paul had to say about it:

1 Thessalonians 4:11 ..... aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. 

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 
In the context of Paul's writings to the Thessalonians, there were  lazy people in the church doing nothing to provide a living for themselves. They were dependent upon others in the church for daily living. It is the will of God that we become productive members of the church community and our local and national communities. To do otherwise is not the will of God, but our own will. In the scriptures cited above, the word idleness (the King James Version reads "disorderly and unruly") are translating the Greek word for lazy. It is in this context that the famous words "If a man doesn't work, neither should he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10)" came from.

The value of work ethic is the big take away from these verses in Proverbs and Thessalonians. As the generations keep passing by, there will be no replacement with good, hard work.

From the scripture, we see that even the ant has work ethic. They are self motivated with no one telling them what to do, but they do what they know is necessary for survival and to have a livelihood. Of course, agriculture is not our way of life these days, but the premise of work ethic still translates. Plowing in the autumn speaks to planning, scheduling and program management, etc. We should be diligent and forward thinking.

Posted in Bible 2013, Proverbs    Tagged with lazy, work ethic, idleness


Sis. Mae - July 17th, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Ex. 20:9-10; Deut. 6:13-14; Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work,...

I got three progressive revelations from this passage: 1) To TYPE A workaholics: God expects you to rest. 2) To TYPE B God expects you to labour those six days. 3) And finally, God expects us to be finishers; to complete our tasks.

COMPLETE: Prov. 17:__; Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker:...
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