Proverbs 26:13-15 “The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.”
We use words like ‘simplification,’ ‘productivity,’ and ‘efficiency’ to describe doing more with less. Less money spent, less energy expended, and less time wasted. These words are used in industry to make more money for their company. They are used in processing problems in our relationships.
It carries a very negative connotation. It may be likened to “lazy,” “indolent,” idle,” and “shiftless.” Not something one strives for in life.
But, in our passage, there is an element of self-justification and excuse-making.
Even the animal named the sloth is indicative of slow-moving, unhurried, and lacking passion. Some might liken churches to that type of spirit. To actually move grieves the heart of the slothful.
To be rendered inactive through injury or sickness is one thing. To purposefully be lazy and slothful is selfishness at its core.
We say we want our way more than our spouse, our children, friends, or family’s way. God’s Word admonishes us:
Romans 12:10-11 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
We can glean from our last verse that the antonym for slothful is fervency.
I do not believe that one wakes up and decides to be full of sloth or slothful. It comes from the root of selfishness, thinking we are deserving of rest or idleness. It is one thing when life has gotten overwhelming, and we desperately need a respite.
To choose laziness or be slothful means to gradually fall into acceptance that not working is acceptable, to set ourselves aside from what is needful is okay.
How do we get to that point in our life?
We must understand that our enemy wins when we are inactive. When we are silent in giving the gospel, the devil wins. When we compromise on the small things, it spills over into the big stuff. We have a principle in our addiction program:
“Little compromises lead to great disasters, or little sins lead to big sins.”
We can all trace sin’s fall back when we allowed compromise to enter when before there was a caution. Heeding the Spirit’s voice and staying in communion with Him is vital to making the right decisions.
Knowing that there is a plan and a path set for me each day, I must get with God daily to receive my map for the day’s activities. God may not give it all at once, but our hearts need to seek Him first.
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.“
We worry about what will be added when we should concentrate on advancing God’s kingdom, not ours.
Slothfulness is like any other stronghold in our life; it must be attacked with the Word of God.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
The reward for daily work is the sustenance for the day.
Work can aid our testimony.
1 Timothy 6:1 “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.”
We deceive ourselves thinking our work has no merit or value.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Satan tries to ensnare us with self-pity, selfishness, and pride. These are all doorways to slothfulness. Our day must first begin with what we know would please our Heavenly Father.
Then, following His course, we can be assured that we will be pleasing in all we do.