Are You Lazy or Diligent?
“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”
Proverbs 13:4 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you had a blessed week. I have been writing on the topic of “thankfulness”. This may not be directly related to thankfulness. However, I can make a connection by saying that most people who are thankful for opportunities, work to use those opportunities to the fullest. Make sense? LOL. I hope so.
Now, let’s look at Proverbs 13:4. It is a verse of comparing and contrasting those who work hard and those who are lazy. It is implied that both the sluggard and the diligent have dreams and wishes about their life. They both may have a wish list of things they want. They both may want things like a high sum of money, a good job, a nice house, a new car, and a dream lifestyle. They may both want great relationships with God, friends, and family members. I think we all have hopes, dreams, and desires at times. However, the difference comes in the amount of work that one is willing to put in to get the things they want.
The first part of Proverbs 13:4 (KJV) says, “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing:”. This makes sense. Those who are not willing to do anything won’t end up with much as a result.
I know what you are thinking. Okay, maybe I don’t. But… you might be thinking that there are some people who are born into money and seem to get anything they want without lifting a finger. How does this verse fit into their life? Well, you might have a different thought, but I am thinking that even though they may not lift a finger for what they get, their heart may not be happy and satisfied with what they are getting. They may want to be out there making a difference. They may want to be out of the “castle”, so to speak, and to live like “the rest of the world”. We don’t know their heart’s desires. So, it is wrong to assume that they are getting what they desire, just because they are wealthy in monetary value and seem to be spoiled.
So, does sluggard mean someone who does nothing at all? I don’t think this is necessarily true. I think sluggard could also means someone who does the least amount possible or those who try to find the easy way out. I think a sluggard might be someone who works hard for maybe a few days or weeks and expects to have as much as someone who has worked a lifetime. A sluggard might be someone who isn’t focused and who jumps from one thing to another to another and doesn’t work on one desire for very long. It is someone who ends up spinning their wheels and digging a rut, because of the lack of focus and diligence on one goal. I also think that we need to really look sometimes, because it might feel like we are being diligent, but we are really being more of a sluggard.
In contrast, the last part of Proverbs 13:4 (KJV) states, “but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat”. To put this in simple terms, it means that those who work hard will reap a big reward for their efforts. This makes sense as well. Often times, people will give up before reaching their goal or chooses another goal thinking that their goal isn’t quite right. Yet, a diligent person will work at it and stick with something until achievement. Sometimes, a goal and its path need to be adjusted. However, a diligent person will know that and be willing to do that as well. I think a diligent person also makes allowances for various contingencies in order to get to the end goal.
A diligent person might also be considered as someone who has “all their bases covered” so to speak. They especially know that prayer and a relationship with God is their best resource in choosing and working towards a goal. If we have goals that align with God’s will for us, we will be more apt to be able to achieve what we want as well. Being diligent might be a “mindset” as well as actual work. A diligent person might work “smart” as well as hard. He or she might utilize all the given resources and opportunities, including things like prayer, faith, courage, and obedience, as well as the actual physical work.
Another thing to remember is that a diligent person keeps working even when he or she doesn’t see success. God might be showing them that they are really working for a more heavenly goal than the one they think they want. Just because a person may not be in a season of monetary wealth and may not feel successful, or may even be in a time of trials, doesn’t mean that he or she should give up. A diligent person will pray for guidance and keep on going in the direction God calls him or her to go.
I have one last thought about Proverbs 13:4 and it’s message. I think that we can’t judge a book by its cover. We can’t necessarily look at someone and tell whether they are a sluggard or a diligent person. Remember the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was in the kitchen doing things and preparing things. She thought that Mary was being lazy in not helping her. However, Mary was doing something. She was listening, learning, and following Jesus. (Luke 10:38-42)
Thank you for being our Provider, our Heavenly Father, and our Creator. Thank you for giving us a road map to follow and being our Guiding Light down the path of life. Help us to be the diligent person in life, instead of the sluggard. Help us to know that diligence isn’t just an act, but also a mindset. Help us to do our due diligence in heeding your Word and your will for us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 13:4 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 13:4 mean to me?
*Am I a sluggard or a diligent person?
*Do I seem to achieve my goals and get the desires of my heart?
*Do I agree that diligence is a mindset as well as the act of working?
*What other verse or verses remind me of Proverbs 13:4?
*How can I better heed the words in Proverbs 13:4?
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy ponderings on:
*2 Corinthians 13:5
Now, it is your turn:
I am so thankful that you are here. In a post like this, please know that I am not judging. I offer these posts so we all can self-reflect on our own actions or inaction, pray, and ask for guidance from our loving Lord. I pray that God speaks to you and blesses you through this time of pondering and self-reflection.
If you feel called to do so, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me. I am always looking for what you might want to ponder next. I enjoy digging deeper into God's Word. I hope you enjoy it with me.
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Do You Confuse Laziness with Fear?
“The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”
Proverbs 22:13 (KJV)
How are you today? There have been many times when I haven’t done things, because I didn’t think that I could do them. They seemed too difficult for me. I didn’t think I had the skills, the patience, the knowledge, the strength, or the financial means to do them. What about you? Have you ever felt like there were things that you couldn’t do that you wanted to do? Were there things that you didn’t do, because you didn’t think you could do them?
This verse in Proverbs convicts me of laziness. Most, if not all, the things that I didn’t do because I didn’t think I could were because I was too lazy to do the hard work to carry them out. I was afraid, overwhelmed, or just ignorant of a way to succeed.
However, the biggest conviction above and beyond laziness is that I didn’t have the faith that God would provide a way and that God would be with me through it all.
I don’t know if I didn’t realize this before or didn’t understand it. I learn something new every time I read the Bible. I may have glossed over this verse before. If I had really understood it, maybe I would have tackled more or at least given them more of an effort, before I dismissed them as being too hard.
As humans, it may be in our nature to look at things as too difficult before we even give them a chance. We may just fear that “there is a lion in the street” or we may say that because it sounds like it would be a good excuse to not put the work in to accomplish something. It may seem like a lion, but only be a sweet little kitten. We don’t even know if we can accomplish something or if it beyond our means, if we don’t try something.
I really hope that the next time I am faced with what I feel is a difficult or impossible task that I remember the words in Proverbs 22:13 and remember that God is with me always.
It may seem like the convictions that I find in these words are a bad thing. Most people don’t like to be convicted. Often conviction leads to discomfort, lack of freedom, punishment, or sadness. Yet, I find comfort and hope in these words. It is like, now that I realize what I was doing, I can change it. I can now knowingly look to God with my troubles instead of dismissing something that I can’t do or don’t think I can do. In reality I probably can’t do it, but with God, I can. God will provide a way.
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for convicting me of slothfulness and showing me that when I feel scared to do something, it isn’t that it is too hard, it is that I am not putting my faith in you. Thank you for being there for me and being ready to help me through every situation in which I call on your name. Help me to do put my faith in you and be obedient enough to do your will, no matter how difficult it may seem. Give me the strength and courage to be obedient to you and do the things you call me to do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 22:13 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 22:13 mean to me?
*Do I make excuses about not doing anything when in reality I am just lazy?
*Do I trust that God can help me through anything?
*Do I believe that God can make a way when there doesn’t seem to be one?
*Do you confuse laziness with fear?
Now, it is your turn?
What are your thoughts? I would like to hear from you. Please, leave a comment. If you would like to receive these posts in your inbox, please sign up below. Thank you.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.