“Heather, you work hard at trying not to work.”
This was Mom’s famous saying. She was mystified by some of the decisions I made which were clearly rooted in laziness. One night in middle school, I slept on the floor so I would not have to make my bed in the morning. If memory serves, I only tried that once. ~smile~ I would ignore the proper way of completing math problems and figure out another path to the correct answer. Learning the formula would have taken less time, but in true Heather fashion, I worked hard at trying not to work.
Laziness has most definitely been my drug of choice over the years and I am certainly humbled and embarrassed to admit it openly. I admire hard workers. My desire is to be diligent. Not a workaholic, but diligent. I know Eric appreciates it when I put my work ahead of my relaxation time – and I respect myself more when I do. Still, there is always the temptation to take it easy for a few more minutes before attacking the next unpleasant task.
Speaking as someone who has battled this beast most of my life, I can tell you that laziness is typically a character trait, and thus, not localized. What I mean is this: if you are lazy in your work, you will probably be lazy in other areas of your life as well.
The Effects of Others
When I worked outside jobs, I found a way to overcome and put in a good effort. I wanted to do well and make my employers proud. My need to make others happy must be stronger than my need to relax. ~smile~ However, when left to my natural state, I allow work to pile up and I get around to it… eventually.
At home, where there is no one watching me, it is easy to sit back and let my inner procrastinator take over. However, I have found that one who is lazy in the fulfillment of everyday tasks is often lazy in love as well. When our relationship was new, I was highly motivated to love on Eric and show him respect. It was practically effortless; but, now that years have passed, it actually takes work to keep the fires burning. It is easier to amuse myself than to actively seek him out, inquire about his day, and dote on him. He needs that kind of attention and our relationship needs me to make the investment; but, if I allow lethargy to rule me, I will be a lazy companion as well as a lazy business partner and housekeeper.
If I am lazy in life I will be lazy in love. Period.
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4, ESV)
Proverbs is full of verses about laziness, probably because I am not the only one on earth who struggles with this flaw. This book pounds the truth into us. Laziness leads to something bad. Laziness leads to something bad. If you are lazy, you will regret it. If you are lazy, you will regret it. Wake up, Sleepy-head, and WORK!
This verse from Proverbs 10 tells us that hands that do not work hard will live in poverty, but diligent hands become wealthy. It is not a difficult concept. The hard worker reaps gain while the lazy worker never gets ahead.
“The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24, ESV)
Ouch. Those who go out into the world, put their back into building a business, and make the necessary sacrifices will often end up as the bosses of those who aimlessly drift and have no aspirations towards hard work.
Take this verse seriously, and drive your efforts towards something meaningful and fruitful. You may not want to build your own business and that is fine, but choose a path and become a master of your trade. Become excellent at it. Do not simply float through life grasping for one “easy” job after another.
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” (Proverbs 13:4, ESV)
“I want it, but I do not want to work for it.” This is the cry of the entitled. That mansion on the lake may be your dream home, but if you stay in your parents’ basement playing video games, you will probably never see the inside of it. Those who do not work diligently will have little to show for their efforts (which were also few). However, notice that the verse doesn’t say that the diligent do not crave, but that their cravings are obtained through the efforts of diligent work. And this verse may even be speaking of the peace and satisfaction that comes from diligence and labor (and the restlessness which comes from laziness).
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” (Proverbs 6:6, ESV)
We may not like ants, but we have to hand it to them. They are hard-working little boogers! They keep moving and building and storing up food. Proverbs 30:25 tells us that ants are not strong, but they do store food in the Summer. It is not their strength that is to be emulated, but their focus on the goal. Their tenacity. Their unyielding diligence to the task. “Keep moving and we will reach our goal!”
Do you struggle with laziness? Are you lazy, but you do not struggle with it? ~smile~ If you believe your slothfulness is not hurting anyone, think again. (I am also talking to myself.) Leaving the dishes piled up for a few days is one small symptom of a bigger problem. Those who are chronically lazy will be lazy in their relationships – almost all of the time.
If sitting in front of the TV and vegging out is what I live for, then is Eric not a distraction from my goal? Relationships require effort, after all. Lazy people get annoyed when someone or something works against their relaxation plan. If your sweetheart’s cries for love and attention are disturbing your hours of nightly chill time, you very well may be nursing a lazy heart. If you let me time rule your life, it will spill over into your love life.
If you are lazy, you can overcome. You can. ~smile~ (I can!) I have been more diligent in my work lately and my marital relationship has improved as a result! Take a major lesson from Proverbs and enter each new day with a spirit of excellence and diligence. Laziness is never a blessing to your life.
Do verses about laziness make you cringe with conviction?