Diligance vs. Laziness by Ted Robertson ( Aug. 2010 )
Laziness leads to poverty
Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty: open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread. Proverbs 20: 13
The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labor. Proverbs 21: 25
Laziness contrasted with Righteousness
The way of the slothful man is as a hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain. Proverbs 15: 19
Laziness shows A lack of understanding
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth; and thy want as an armed man. Proverbs 24: 30-34
Abandoning laziness is wisdom
Go to the ant, thou sluggard;consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide,overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth, and thy want as an armed man. Proverbs 6: 6-11
Laziness engenders excuses and pride
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. Proverbs 26:1 3-17
Diligence contrasts with laziness and brings plenteousness
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want. Proverbs 21: 5
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. Proverbs 13: 4
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame. Proverbs 10: 2-5
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds: for riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? Proverbs 27: 23-24
"Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." Proverbs 22: 29
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” NIV translation of same verse.
Spirit of Prophecy says,
"The many admonitions to diligence found in both the Old and the New Testament plainly indicate the intimate relation existing between our habits of life and our religious feelings and practices. The human mind and body are so constituted that plenty of exercise is necessary in order to a proper development of all the faculties. While many are too much engaged in worldly business, others go to the opposite extreme and do not labor sufficiently to support themselves or those dependent upon them. Brother ----- is one of this class. While he occupies the position of house band to his family he is not this in reality. The heaviest responsibilities and burdens he allows to rest upon his wife, while he indulges in careless indolence or busies himself about small matters that tell little for the support of his family. He will sit for hours and chat with his sons or his neighbors upon matters of no great consequence. He takes things easy and enjoys himself while the wife and mother does the work which must be done to prepare food to eat and clothes to wear.
This brother is a poor man and always will be a burden to society unless he asserts his God-given privilege and becomes a man. Anyone can find work of some kind to do if he really desires it; but if he is careless and inattentive, the positions which he might have secured he will find filled by those who had greater activity and business tact.
God never designed that you, my brother, should be in the position of poverty that you are now in. Why did He give you that physical frame? You are just as responsible for your physical powers as your brethren are for their means. Some of these would today be gainers could they exchange their property for your physical strength. But if placed in your position, they would, by a diligent use of both mental and physical powers, soon be above want and owe no man anything. It is not because God owes you a grudge that circumstances appear to be against you, but because you do not use the strength He has given you. He did not intend that your powers should rust by inaction, but that they should strengthen by use.
The religion you profess makes it as much your duty to employ your time during the six working days as to attend church on the Sabbath. You are not diligent in business. You let hours, days, and even weeks pass without accomplishing anything. The very best sermon you could preach to the world would be to show a decided reformation in your life, and provide for your own family. Says the apostle: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
You bring a reproach upon the cause by locating in a place, where you indulge indolence for a time and then are obliged to run in debt for provision for your family. These your honest debts you are not always particular to pay, but, instead, move to another place. This is defrauding your neighbor. The world has a right to expect strict integrity in those who profess to be Bible Christians. By one man's indifference in regard to paying his just dues, all our people are in danger of being regarded as unreliable.
"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." This refers to those who labor with their hands as well as to those who have gifts to bestow. God has given you strength and skill, but you have not used them.
Your strength is sufficient to abundantly support your family. Rise in the morning, even while the stars are shining, if need be. Lay your plans to do something, and then accomplish it. Redeem every pledge unless sickness lays you prostrate. Better deny yourself food and sleep than be guilty of keeping from others their just dues. – Testimonies for the Church. vol. 5, pp. 178-180.
Diligence brings honor
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. Proverbs 12:24
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs 22:29
Diligence is important in spiritual matters also
I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Psalms 77:6
"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul." Joshua 22: 5
"The mental powers will surely become contracted, and will lose their ability to grasp the deep meanings of the word of God, unless they are put vigorously and persistently to the task of searching for truth. The mind will enlarge, if it is employed in tracing out the relation of the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. Go below the surface; the richest treasures of thought are waiting for the skillful and diligent student." — Review and Herald. July 17, 1888.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2 Peter 3: 11-14
"There is something for everyone to do in this world of ours. The Lord is coming, and our waiting is to be not a time of idle expectation, but of vigilant work. We are not to spend our time wholly in prayerful meditation, neither are we to drive and hurry and work as if this were required in order that we should gain heaven, while neglecting to devote time to the cultivation of personal piety. There must be a combination of meditation and diligent work. As God has expressed it in His Word, we are to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Worldly activities are not to crowd out the service of the Lord. The soul needs the riches of the grace of God, and the body needs physical exercise, in order to accomplish the work that must be done for the promulgation of the gospel of Christ." — Our High Calling. P. 221
Additional material on this topic: Education, Chapter 15
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