A slack hand causes poverty,
    but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
Prov. 10:4-5

We live in a world that prides itself in doing as little as possible and, if called on to do anything at all, doing it with as little effort and diligence as possible. For the Christian, that attitude is reprehensible. The Christian, of all people, should be the most diligent in whatever they put their hands to do. Yet, I have witnessed as a pastor and, in my previous life as a retail manager, that some of the laziest people on the earth are those who name the name of Christ. In Solomon’s words, they are those that possess a “slack hand.” Sure, they do things. It isn’t like they stay in bed all day. But, whatever they do, they do it speedily, half-heartedly, with as little effort as they can muster. After all, they don’t want to be bothered with such things because, in many cases, the things they are called on to do (like clean the house, the fellowship hall at the church, the church building, their room, their job) are not usually pleasant. Work has become a burden due to the fall of man into sin. It was not always that way. It is that way now. However, that does not mean that we should run away from work. It does not mean we should avoid it and, if called on to do it, do it half-heartedly. I know people who work that way and whose behavior defies the God who saved them. After all, we are told by the apostle to do all that we do as unto the Lord (1 Cor. 10:31). Why are Christians lazy? There may be many reasons. I suspect for some, they are that way because when they were being raised, they were never called on to do much, and if they were, the path of least resistance was the goal. The goal was never excellence. It was to get it done with as little pain and frustration as possible. That is not diligence. That is laziness. For others, they may not understand the value of hard work and the pride that comes from doing a job well, as unto the Lord. As Christians, our work is done for him. What does the Lord Jesus deserve from you? Does he deserve a half-hearted approach to cleaning your bedroom, the bathroom, the house, the church, secular employment, etc.? It seems to me that he gave all for you. You ought to work as hard as possible, with the highest degree of diligence and excellence for him. 

How can you ascertain if you are lazy? A few comments:

  1. You do a job just to get it done. You are not very interested in doing it well as long as it is over. 
  2. When you are at work, you spend more time watching the clock than focused on your responsibilities.
  3. You must always be asked to do things and, when asked, roll your eyes about it (in your head or face). 
  4. When you are asked to do something, you run away from it instead of attacking the labor and doing it well. 
  5. You leave things to be done by someone else, expecting others to work for you. 

Some suggestions:

Parents, if you have children in the house, teach them to be diligent in everything they put their hands to do. Teach them that they serve Christ in their homework, classwork, room cleaning, house cleaning, and whatever else they do. Give them responsibilities around the house, and don’t tolerate a half-done job. If you teach them those values today, they will pay off in dividends later in life. No one likes a lazy person. As an adult, that will be expressed in your child getting fired from their job. 

If you find that you are as described in these verses, repent of those things and seek the Lord’s face for help and relief. He will forgive and grant you the zeal to work diligently for him. Notice how Solomon expresses it when he says that those who are diligent in labor are prudent. They are wise because they will not lack what they need. Laziness is a sin of the heart. Therefore, seek the Lord’s face, ask him if you are lazy, and turn away from it before you starve to death. 

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