Many people have the view that the Bible is irrelevant to modern life. If that is your perspective, then you may want to just skip the rest of this article. On the other hand, if you consider the Bible to be a good source of guidance, then please, read on.
So what does the Bible have to say about the topic of laziness? Are these ancient words still relevant in modern life? Here are some examples:
The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. Proverbs 20:4
I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come upon you like a thief — and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 24:30-34
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor. Proverbs 12:24
Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger. Proverbs 19:15
The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. Proverbs 21:25
As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed. Proverbs 26:14
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no over-seer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 6:6-11
The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!” Proverbs 26:13
Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks. Eccl. 10:18
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10
Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest … Exodus 34:21
Sounds pretty harsh, huh?
Also, in the days when the Bible was written, there was little or no understanding of the role of mental illness and it’s impact on a person’s ability to work. Were there cases in which the Bible authors blamed someone’s inactivity on laziness – when it was really just due to depression or mental illness?
Alternatively, from the Bible’s perspective of “spiritual” sickness, perhaps the Bible authors might have taken the view that we (in the modern world) have the cause and effect backwards. In other words, perhaps they would have seen a person’s laziness as the cause of their depression and mental illness – rather than a symptom?
In practice, is there room for both views?