Bible Topics: Laziness and slothfulness

Definitions: The Biblical term for laziness is slothfulness, which is habitual inactivity, reluctance to work or exert oneself in any way, sluggishness. Another term the Bible uses for a lazy person is a “sluggard.”

1. The lazy person takes what he thinks is the easy way out, but always suffers in the end.

* Proverbs 6:9-11 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 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, and thy want as an armed man.

* Proverbs 10:4a He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand.

* Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

* Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

* Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

* Proverbs 20:13a Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty.

* Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

* Proverbs 23:21b Drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

* Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. 33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

* Ecclesiastes 10:18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through [leaks].

2. The lazy person always has lots of excuses why he’s not doing what he should.

* Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

* Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

* Proverbs 26:16 [A lazy person often won’t listen to other’s good reasoning.] The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

* Matthew 25:24,25 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed [scattered seed]: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

* James 2:17-20 [For those who try to excuse themselves by saying that they are justified by faith alone:] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

3. Laziness is often related to idle talk.

* Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury [poverty].

* Acts 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

* 1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

4. Laziness is wastefulness.

* Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

* Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

* Luke 15:13,14 [Sad story of the Prodigal Son:] And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. [See verses 11-32 for the whole story.]

5. A reputation for laziness will cause others to lose confidence and separate company.

* Proverbs 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

* Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

* 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

6. To overcome laziness, we must have goals and a vision for what we are doing.

* Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

* Proverbs 10:5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

* Proverbs 15:19 [As we step out by faith, the Lord increases our vision:] The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

* Proverbs 31:27 She [the virtuous woman] looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

* John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.

* John 9:4 I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

* 1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

* Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

* 1 Corinthians 7:29a But this I say, brethren, the time is short.

7. To overcome laziness and lethargy, pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit and go on the attack!

* Ecclesiastes 9:10a Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. [See also Colossians 3:23.]

* Romans 12:11 [Be] not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.

* 1 Corinthians 9:27a But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.

* 1 Corinthians 15:10 By the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

* Ephesians 5:16,18 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. …18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.

* Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

* 2 Timothy 1:6b Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee.

Copyright (c) 1998 by Aurora Productions

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