WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 18, 2022
TOPIC: THE LAZY, THE WORKAHOLIC, AND THE DILIGENT
BY T. O. BANSO
“Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6 New King James Version).
Human beings always have the problem of maintaining a proper balance in life. Because of this, they engage in extremes that are not good for them and others. Regarding work, one could say there are three categories of people – the lazy, the workaholic, and the diligent. I consider laziness and being a workaholic as two extremes that destroy people.
The lazy hate to work. Lazy people are idle. They are unwilling to work. They’re parasites on others. The Bible, particularly in the book of Proverbs, does not spare lazy people. Many scriptures condemn laziness. Proverbs 6:6-11 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep — So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (New King James Version).
In Proverbs 31, the Bible shows the virtuous wife as an industrious and resourceful woman. “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” (verse 27). Ecclesiastes 10:18 says, because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks. Some people are lazy or idle but delude themselves by expecting success to fall into their laps.
According to Proverbs 10:4, he who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 12:24 says the hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labour. The Bible also says in Proverbs 13:4 that the soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. In Proverbs 18:9, the Bible says he who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer while Proverbs 19:15 says laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
These scriptures and others give one enough reasons to avoid laziness. “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread” (Proverbs 20:13 New King James Version). Proverbs 21:25-26 says, “The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, but the righteous gives and does not spare” (New King James Version).
Furthermore, Proverbs 24:30-34 says, “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (New King James Version).
No child of God should be lazy or idle. Jesus said, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John 5:17 New King James Version). He also said in John 9:4 that He must work the works of Him who sent Him while it was day and that the night was coming when no one could work. A lazy Christian does not resemble Jesus or God! Therefore, it is not surprising that Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 that if anyone would not work, he shall not eat.
Also, Paul warns that anyone who steals should steal no more but rather work with his hands what is good so that he will be able to have something to give to the needy (Ephesians 4:28). Work to meet your needs and the needs of others. Also, work to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
As I have said, laziness is one extreme that some human beings are guilty of. But there is another extreme: working hard for long hours and finding it difficult not to work. This is workaholism. Some people pride themselves on being a workaholic or enjoy being described so. But it is disapproving. It’s not anything someone should be proud of. It shows that the person is addicted to work and his life is out of balance. Other important aspects of his life suffer because of his addiction to work. Neither being lazy nor being a workaholic is good. Workaholism hurts someone’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Greed or covetousness and anxiety move some people to overwork themselves just to acquire things. They work to satisfy their greed or covetousness, or overwork themselves out of anxiety. Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind” (New King James Version). The Good News Translation puts it thus: “It is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind.”
Don’t always want more and more, and hurt yourself, your family, loved ones, and staff. You can’t have everything. More doesn’t always bring satisfaction. “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (New King James Version). Avoid laziness or workaholism.
The last category of people is those who are diligent. Diligence is always a constant in any equation of success! The diligent are hardworking but not workaholics. They have contentment. They’re not moved by greed, covetousness, or anxiety, to overwork themselves. They maintain a proper balance between work and other departments of their lives such as the family and fellowship with God.
Don’t be lazy but don’t also be a workaholic. Being called a workaholic is not a compliment. Be diligent without being a workaholic. Be diligent, but don’t be motivated to work by greed, covetousness, anxiety, etc. Don’t overwork yourself because you want more than it’s necessary.
Remember that Proverbs 10:4 says he who has a slack hand becomes poor but the hand of the diligent makes rich. And as you have earlier read, the hand of the diligent will rule but the lazy man will be put to forced labour (Proverbs 12:24). Don’t also forget that Proverbs 13:4 says the soul of a lazy man desires and has nothing but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
The writer of Hebrews says your conduct should be without covetousness; you should be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5a). Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). Contentment is different from laziness. Exercise self control. Exodus 20:11a says in six days, the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. God gave us this as an example to follow. Don’t let work become the god that would prevent you from joining other believers to worship God at least one day a week. Don’t be lazy or a workaholic. Work but also rest. Maintain a Godly balance.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life, your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to maintain a Godly balance, as I work. I shall not be lazy or a workaholic. My work will not become my god. Father, help those whose lives are out of balance to maintain a proper balance so that they will not be lazy or a workaholic and it will negatively affect their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health or other departments of their lives.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947