The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
Many people in the church pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6) and state the following line: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Yet, those same people either grumble and complain about the employment God gives them to satisfy their physical needs, or they refuse to work. It is strange to see and hear about people who do one or the other of these things. But, both circumstances are sins before a holy God and should not be named among God’s people.
First, to complain about your job is to tell the God of heaven that he doesn’t know what he is doing. It is to say that he is aloof to your circumstances and struggles. Sure, there are difficult jobs out there. Many people throughout the ages have had one or two of them. Work is hard. Laboring for other people is often wrought with complex issues. No one denies that. But it makes no sense to gripe about your job because it will not solve the problems that lead to your complaints. It only makes your attitude worse. There are solutions. First, quit complaining about the hardship of work. It was not always that way. It is due to sin that work frustration comes. Man will toil by the sweat of their brow for their daily bread until the Lord returns and ushers in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Second, and on a more practical level, if your job is that miserable, find a new one. However, be warned because that new job will also have its share of issues. It is inescapable. There is no perfect job because there are no perfect people. Therefore, rest in God’s providence and learn to be content with it.
Second, and more to the point of the proverb, is the issue of laziness. Solomon says, “The desire of the sluggard kills him.” What is that desire? It is the desire to avoid work and avoid labor. Yet, man was made to work. It is a good thing to labor with your hands. Idleness is the devil’s workshop (so they say). If you desire to avoid working, that desire will be answered with death. It will be answered with a lack of daily bread necessary to sustain your body. It will be answered with homelessness, going without, missing out, and being bankrupt financially and spiritually. When I was growing up, laziness was not tolerated in my father’s home. From the earliest of our days, my brother and I were taught to be diligent, work hard and faithfully, and do our job well. Christians should be the most diligent of all the people of the earth. Yet, they are often the very opposite. Yes, God has promised to provide for his people those things they need daily. He typically does that through work. Therefore, go to work. Don’t complain about it. Do it to the glory of God. If you refuse, you will get what you desire. You will get a full day of doing nothing and have nothing.
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