Let’s look at this verse beyond just comparing a sluggard to a hard-working individual. Rather, I’d like you to apply this verse to your work for the Lord. Do you feel your life is full of steady, earnest and energetic efforts in fulfilling the Lord’s plan and purpose in your life? Or do you feel your spiritual life is dominated mainly by apathy,and idleness? Lazy hands and for that matter, lazy hearts, cause us to squander the gifts God has so graciously given us. But diligent hands not only brings spiritual wealth, but an abundance of peace and joy to the worker.
Having been in Nursing Administration most of my life, I’ve interviewed and hired a lot of staff. And the one thing I always looked for was a good work ethic. A first-rate candidate needed to be hardworking, thorough, and patient…while someone who seemed inconstant, lax, and careless would be looked over for the position. Proverbs 12:24 tells us that, “Diligent hands will rule but laziness ends in slave labor.” Developing a good work ethic will get you far, not only in your career, but your life.
According to the dictionary, the word sluggard means a slow or lazy person. But the term lazy can mean much more than just not wanting to work. We may be a sluggard towards daily time in God’s Word…preferring rather to mindlessly scroll our phones. We may be a lax sluggard, who acknowledges God’s plan and purpose in our lives…but prefers the comfort of our recliner and Media Center more. A sluggard is doomed to poverty so the Proverb says…destitute in both material and spiritual things.
A colorful word that the writers of Proverbs use for a lazy person is sluggard. Idle hands and a poor work ethic will never lead to anything good in life…while hardworking, untiring hands are strong, powerful and lead to prosperity.