Although a “politically incorrect” observation on my part, I am of the opinion that we live in a society that rewards laziness and punishes diligence. Laziness, sometimes referenced as slothfulness in the Book of Proverbs, is rampant in America! Young men sauntering about with the waistline of their pants hanging at half-mast over their haunches is illustrative of a culture of laziness!
Solomon confronts his son with two questions meant to awaken him to the tragic end of the lazy and slothful in today’s proverbs.
Proverbs 6:9 – “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?”
At the risk of riling some well-meaning parents, I must ask: When are you going to teach your sons and daughters the old adage and discipline of Benjamin Franklin who said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”?
I am afraid there are many loving parents who are failing to instill in their children a discipline for hard work. Going to bed late and sleeping in well past sunrise is the epitome of laziness! Solomon cites “sleeping in” as characteristic of a sluggard—a habitually lazy person!
Proverbs 6:10-11 – “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth [poverty is slowly, but surely approaching], and thy want [poverty; hunger] as an armed man [a man bearing a shield to deflect blows].”
Laziness leads to a predictable end—Poverty. Poverty seldom comes upon a man suddenly. No, poverty “travelleth”—its approach is slow, steady and certain. Failing to instill a daily discipline of study and labor in your child allows the laziness of a sluggard to become a predictable path to poverty and sorrow. In the same way a shield deflects the blows of an enemy in battle, laziness and a disposition for “sleeping in” deflects any hope of success and prosperity.
Is there any wonder so many young and middle age men and women find themselves as dependents on elderly parents?
Proverbs 20:4 – “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.”