The Ancient Greek storyteller Aesop’s Tale of the Grasshopper and the Ant is a perfect reminder of the detrimental impact of lazy living. Throughout the summer, the ant worked hard, gathering and storing food for the winter. The lazy grasshopper laughed at him, saying it was time to play and sing. When winter gripped the land, however, the grasshopper had no food and begged the ant to let him have some, but there was no excess to share.
Laziness is a habit that can lead to our living on the generosity of others. The apostle Paul showed little patience for those who were unwilling to work, stating that they should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). He taught the believers in Thessalonica how to steer clear of procrastination and idleness. His instruction included never accepting food from anyone without paying for it and to work hard day and night so they wouldn’t be a burden to anyone (2 Thessalonians 3:8). He also urged them to settle down and earn a living and challenged them to never get tired of doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:12-13).
Jesus also spoke of working quickly to carry out the tasks assigned to us by God, for night is coming when no one will be able to work (John 9:4).
Although Paul delivers a stern warning against laziness, even challenging us to stay away from people who are idle (2 Thessalonians 3:14), he implores us not to treat the lazy as enemies. Instead, he urges us to warn them as we would a brother or sister (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).
In Proverbs 24:30-34, the writer viewed the farmer’s property, he immediately discerned the kind of person he was—complacent, lazy, and one who lacked judgment. His property was overgrown with thorns and weeds and the wall stood in ruins (Proverbs 24:31). The sage’s audience would have been appalled at the farm owner’s carelessness and would have surmised: The owner’s sloppy habits and disorganization was evidence of his physical and spiritual neglect.
To be continued tomorrow.