By Pastor Murray
The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway. (Proverbs 15:19 NKJV)
Those who have a character flaw often do not realise it. It is usually apparent to others, but they are reluctant to bring it to the attention of those at fault. It may be that the perception is not correct, or that there may be a negative reaction – none of us like there to be conflict in a relationship. It could be that any comment will be seen as negative criticism and it may adversely affect the relationship. This is difficult, whether the people concerned are family members, friends or workmates. It can be even more difficult when the other person is one of your employees and a formal process may be required.
It may be that you or someone you know is less productive than they could be and should be. The Bible calls it laziness and that is the subject of today’s verse.
The word translated here as “lazy” can also mean ‘sluggish’ or ‘useless’. We are told more about the lazy man elsewhere in Proverbs.
Their souls want nothing and get nothing: The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. (Proverbs 13:4, NKJV)
The persons take no initiative: A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. (Proverbs 19:24, NKJV)
They don’t do their tasks on time: “The lazy man will not plough because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4, NKJV)
They will not work: “The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labour.” (Proverbs 21:25, NKJV)
They create imaginary excuses: “The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”” (Proverbs 22:13, NKJV)
Their wealth deteriorates: “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.” (Proverbs 24:30–31, NKJV)
The consider themselves to be wise: “The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed. The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly.” (Proverbs 26:13–16, NKJV)
The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns
Those who are lazy may not see it in themselves. However, they will more easily see the result of their laziness – a life filled with constant trouble and irritations
“Because he is slothful, he imagines ten thousand difficulties in the way which cannot be surmounted; but they are all the creatures of his own imagination, and that imagination is formed by his sloth.” (Clarke)
Proverbs reminds us that laziness is a serious sin
• Laziness is theft—you live off the work of others
• Laziness is selfishness—you live for yourself and comfort
• Laziness is neglect of duty—you don’t do what you should
- David Guzik
It is too easy to nod assent when we hear a good message, but to not follow through on what we are being encouraged to do. We need to follow through on what the Lord is commanding us to do, and not to forget what we have heard or look for excuses to not change.
the way of the upright is a highway
The wise man or woman is upright and hard working before the Lord. Such a person is not hidebound by imagined difficulties, does not know the same constant troubles and irritations of life that the lazy man must endure. Life for the upright is much smoother and more efficient.
Life is much easier for the one who is efficient and relies on the Lord’s strength rather than his own to achieve that which he is called on to achieve.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJV)
May God’s richest blessings be with you, with those in your bubble and with those you would like to have in your bubble