Day 17

 Avoiding Laziness

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied.
(Proverbs 13:4)

 Proverbs says much about the lazy person. They who will not work have little place in a world which is defined by and maintained by work. A person is often characterized by his or her job and even more by diligence in that job.

Solomon characterizes the lazy person as loving his bed and sleep, being even too lethargic to eat. For him any excuse will do, even the delusion that there may be a wild beast such as a lion in the streets! He is not persuaded by the wisdom that could prove otherwise. The lazy person lacks initiative, is not attentive, is easily dissuaded and is marked by frequent pauses and unseen obstacles which lead to poor effort and less than successful results.

Laziness not only results in poverty but in unrealized spiritual potential and even decay. “He also that is slack in his work is brother to him that is a destroyer.” (Proverbs 18:9) Laziness results in death; idleness results in erosion of the soul and ultimate ruin. Work, on the other hand, occupies us, makes us useful and helps provide an ongoing purpose. Diligence triumphs over genius in Solomon’s schema.

Our faculties are not to rust unburnished, our abilities are not to lie dormant. We must be awakened to full activity, using our gifts to the utmost. For there is a day of full accounting coming. It is diligence rather than brilliance, industry rather than ingeniousness, which leads to positions of influence and power. One’s life work is a gift; we are to use the gift faithfully and humbly. We are called variously, but each one is called to diligence. The greatest joy is when one uses his or her God-given gifts of mind and body, both consistently and conscientiously in service to the world.

Service opportunities are limited and those that are wasted are forever gone.

Finally, the principle of sowing and reaping is presented and it applies to every person. One must plow, sow seeds, water, weed, and fertilize to ultimately enjoy a harvest. One who does not work will not reap. (Proverbs 20:4)

What kind of a student are/were you? Do you characteristically give your best effort to a task? Do you cut corners when no one is looking? Are you taking the steps to make progress in your education/job or are you resting on laurels?

 

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