You don’t hear the word “sluggard” used very much today. It’s definition is an habitually lazy person. The sluggard in this verse, refuses to work, but wants everything he desires to be just handed to him. I see many Christians that are sluggards in the Lord. They long for a closer walk with God…but they want someone else to do all the heavy lifting for them. They want someone else to hand feed them choice bits from God, because they’re too lazy to open the Bible up for themselves. Or they’d rather listen to a pod-cast on their phones than get their back-sides up off the couch and actually go to Church. Laziness in the Lord will get you nothing. But diligence in the Lord will strengthen you from the inside out. For when you are motivated to know God better…He will meet you more than halfway.
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.