How well do you relate to lazy or slothful people otherwise known as sluggards? Over the years, I have dealt with quite a few. At the time, I did not know what the problem was. Looking back, it’s all quite clear.
Have you ever tried to explain something to a lazy person? Was it a challenge?
Years ago, I went to buy life insurance. I gave the agent my money. Three months later, no bill. When I investigated it and asked enough questions, I found that I had no insurance. My money was refunded, and I went elsewhere.
Here was a man that could have gotten me as a client, but he failed to follow through with what he should have been doing. I’ve never quite understood why he would take my money, but not do the paperwork for the policy.
Perhaps we all have a little laziness in us and fail to follow through at times. But there are those that make it a habit and simply make excuses not to work. Those are the ones I am referring to today.
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
The subtitle in my Bible for all but the first of those verses is “Relationships with Sluggards.” The first verse came from the previous section subtitled “Relationships with Fools.” Notice in verse 16 it says “the sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.” Verse 12 says, “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.” Sounds like the fool is better off than the sluggard. The sluggard thinks himself smarter than seven wise men.
I consulted Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible for the verses in between. His explanation was quite long. In some cases more than one explanation was offered. I offer a condensed version of part of it. The lions mentioned – “There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets” – are excuses. “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed” is a picture of the slothful in bed all day rolling first to one side then the next neglecting his work. Opportunities pass him by. “The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth” could refer to pretending to be lame, but it could also refer to their not feeding their souls with God’s Word.
Today’s challenge is to understand what to expect when you are talking to sluggards. They will be full of excuses. They will miss opportunities because they are slothful. They like to spend the day in bed. They think they are smarter than seven wise men. They won’t make the effort to feed themselves or their souls. There’s more hope for the fool.
Pray for them.