What Does The Bible Really Say?

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 Biblethe 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?

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13 Responses to What Does The Bible Really Say?

  1. MVNJ says:

    First of all – for 99% of the population, I would have to say that laziness in general has a place in everybody’s life. But PAL is not involved in pointing the finger at others to accuse them of laziness. The Bible is taking the role of judge. I dont feel qualified to judge – I dont even feel qualified to judge what the Bible has to say. It is a book of wisdom – you have to take what you want and disregard the rest.

    It may have been that, in the times of the Bible, that people were considered lazy when they had some disability.

    I am working with a guy who is helping me with the transistion from my day program to getting into school – finding out about getting financial aide, etc.

    I used to spend 50 hours a week between my ADL’s (15 hours weekly) and about 35 hours a week at the day program (5 days a week for 7 hours a day.) (BTW, ADL means “activities of daily living” like cooking, cleaning, bathing, food shopping.) That went on for about 6 months after I got out of the hospital. Then they offered to let me take one day a week off from the program – so I asked to take Wednesday’s off. So now I only spend about 43 hours a week (15 hours in ADL’s plus 28 hours at the program.) I guess I am kind of taking advantage of the hive and being a little lazy witht the leeway that they gave me. Perhaps I should be spending those 7 hours in doing something to help the hive – rather than just sitting about. At least I am not actively causing trouble during the 7 hours of leeway that they give me … but, that is kind of a way of congradjulating myself by comparing myself to someone who is worse than me. Maybe I should, instead, strive to use those 7 hours to actively do something to help the hive – to pay it back for the healing that it has given to me. In that sense, yes, I suppose that I have been kind of lazy … and I have a bit of a history of laziness – and I seem to be relapsing into laziness with those 7 hours. Whether the label “lazy” fits or not – I do not feel like i am being lazy – of course, though, that might just be part of the dynamic of the lifestyle of laziness that I tend to find ways to justify it / explain it away / rationalize it away. The observation about the “seven hours” is kind of an eye-opener. I am not resentful about having it pointed out to me by my PAL volunteer encourager.

    Here is what my PAL encourager told me: There are 3 kinds of people – 1) those that society needs to pay to keep them out of trouble, 2) those that do not cause trouble, and 3) those that actively contribute back to the hive. So, previously, for the 35 hours that I was at the program, I was in the first class – people who society had to pay to keep them out of trouble. I am still in class 1 for 28 hours a week – but I guess I am kind of resting on my laurels by staying in class 2 for those 7 hours that they give me leeway. I am going to consider moving some of those 7 hours from class 2 to class 3. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I strongly disagree with you. They offered to let you take one day a week off from the program. This other organization obviously is making the offer from an authority standpoint. Also for a reason. Maybe they think that you can benefit from the break by resting or taking it easy that day. People like you need to be following the suggestions of professionals, and not getting stressed out over what some PAL volunteer encourager is telling you , and then you a go out and commit a crime or something outrageous like that.

  2. MVNJ says:

    The Bible has a strong push for the idea of faith. So I kind of just figured that it meant that you just live your life as best as you can, and then you have faith that you will be forgiven for your sins. But I recently came across a part of the Bible that says that a faithful person is obedient to the law. Once you learn that something is not appropriate, but you decide to do it anyway with the idea that you will be forgiven, then it shows that you are being unfaithful. So, if someone is a faithful follower of the Christian tradition in the Bible, then they will obey the laws that they understand. Forgiveness is more for when you fail or falter for something that you did not understand was wrong, and then, presumably you will not go back to committing those sins again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Also there is the ten commandments. “Six days shalt thou work …”

  4. forced labor says:

    One verse said “laziness ends in forced labor.”. At first I Thot that for forced labor was illegal in America. But it is not illegal in the sense that ppl have to go to work to pay their bills so they can prevent getting their stuff repossessed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    These Bible scriptures need to be understood on a spiritual level. I don’t think they were meant to be takin lit·er·al.

    Adjective

    Taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory: “dreadful in its literal sense, full of dread”.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I like it. People make excuses for not going to work every day but they expect to prosper in their life. The ppl with bipolar have an excuse for not working bcz they can become suicidal when ther is too much pressure.

  7. Ghga says:

    Activity inactivity and productivity.

  8. Get Help Get Active says:

    Sometimes ppl try to fit a complex solution to a simple problem when it just needs a simple solution. Sometimes ppl try to fit a simple solution to a complex problem when it really does need a complex solution. The idea behind PAL is that the first case is getting more and more common in our society.

    • Nine says:

      Wow. That is true. And part of the underlying reason that we might have for looking for the”complex solution for a simple problem” is that we have allowed ourselves to believe that the simple solution is forbidden to consider. In other words politically correct thinking takes certain options off of the table when we are trying to understand the root cause of a particular phenomenon.

    • Nine says:

      In this case the forbidden explanation is that laziness is one of the very real causes of poverty. Really the premise is that laziness does not exist.

    • Meds says:

      That could b made into a nice diagram chart

  9. MVP says:

    I love this article. The Bible definitely has a lot to say about laziness. I especially like the verse in proverbs 6 about the ant, having no overseer commander or ruler, does its job. Laziness is definitely a problem in society with so many people having a wrong view of work.

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