The Approved Workman Part 1 – Slug: What Not To Be.

Slug. procrastination. Idle. When I think of that word I picture a car idling in a parking lot. Cars are made to move. When they “idle” they aren’t doing what they were made to do. They are wasting time, money, and energy doing nothing. Likewise, when we idle as Christians – we are not doing what we were called to do.

Now I want to be clear – Idleness (also known as laziness, slothfulness, procrastination, or being unproductive) is not the same as having a day of rest. There is a moment and a time for being restful. But being idle is a life style.

You know I love the book of Proverbs – You can find wisdom for just about any topic within this book. You only have to look. Get ready to go camping for a while. In the book of Proverbs God refers to the lazy, the procrastinations, and the slothful as slugs.

Fun Fact: “Snails can only crawl. Even those that live in water can’t swim. As they crawl they secrete a slime to help themselves move across surfaces. Snails and slugs travel at speeds that vary from slow (0.013 m/s) to very slow (0.0028 m/s).”  – https://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/AngieYee.shtml

I want you to keep that information in your mind as you think about these verses. They move so slow.

  1. Proverbs 6:6-11 “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
  • The ant – have you ever watched the ant? Or a nature documentary? Most of the ones that I watch have mentioned the ant. They mention them because they are hard workers – they never stop. The ant stores food for months to come and is never in want. They work hard and protect what they have for the good of the colony. And she does it all without being told what to do. God tells us to imitate the ant – be wise with what we have and store up for when we don’t, work hard without being told to. The Ant on the other hand runs up to 9 body lengths per second – human equivalent would be 30 miles per hour. Remember what we said about the slug? The ant is way more productive than the slug because she doesn’t slow down. “A Rolling stone gathers no moss” as my brother likes to remind me.
  • The second half of this verse talks about procrastination. The Bible gives a great visual on how just a little bit at a time you give away the opportunity to do the right thing. You wait just 5 minutes, just 10 minutes and suddenly – you are caught unprepared.
  • There is nothing wrong with rest – Even God took the last day to rest; there is something wrong with being lazy and procrastination.

2. Proverbs 10:4 “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”

  • I don’t feel like I need to explain this verse because it’s so black and white but I will. Slackness – procrastination, laziness, idleness, slothfulness causes poverty. Working hard creates riches. I want to be clear that it will not happen over night, but your diligence and sacrifices will pay off!

3. Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.”

  • Ever wonder why Joseph got that promotion in the Bible? Probably because he worked hard with diligence and integrity. Eventually he became powerful – almost as powerful as Pharaoh. He committed himself to working hard and being diligent – committing all he did to the name of God and BAM!!!! He’s been promoted!! Be diligent and work hard!

4. Proverbs 15:19 “The way of the sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”

  • I’ve been pondering this verse for a while and I believe that what it means is – when you are slothful, starting a new habit is hard. It’s hard to be slothful and get what you want – like walking in a hedge of thorns (if you haven’t done it – you should go literally walk through the woods, it will help you better understand the meaning), while if you have been working hard it’s easier to keep going. If you create and stick to the habit – you will be rewarded and it is easier than trying to do it sporadically.

5. Proverbs 18:9 “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.”

  • Whenever you make a choice you are serving someone. It is never yourself (sorry to burst that bubble). As Christians our lives are forfeit to glorifying God and bringing others to him. We are to live a life that makes us “Salt of the earth”; in other words – we are on this earth to create a “thirst” in others for Christ. If you are being lazy, procrastinating, being slack – you are not serving Christ. And if you are not serving Christ then you are serving the Devil. You have become a brother to the destroyer. Is that what you want for your life?

6. Proverbs 19:15;24 “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger…The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.”

  • Ever heard the phrase – sleep begets more sleep? It’s true – when you are being lazy you feel more tired than when you are being productive. Don’t get me wrong you will still feel tired from being productive but it’s different it’s a well-earned rest. Idleness makes you tired the same way depression does. You feel disappointed with your self and more exhausted that way.
  • similarly – The sluggard can’t be bothered to even feed himself. Basic life items (cleaning, feeding, peeing) the sluggard isn’t into taking care of him self. Self care is important to God. If we can’t take care of ourselves then we can’t help others. That’s why we are to study his word, take care of ourselves, rest, etc. But remember a little leaven, leavens the whole lump. We are to rest but not be lazy. Don’t be the slug.

7. Proverbs 22:13 “The Sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets.”

  • The sluggard makes unnecessary excuses as to why they cannot do their work. There are times where you have to wait for the next step – If you work in a restaurant you can’t put out unclean dishes – you have to wait for them to be washed. But don’t use excuses like “I’m off the clock” as to why you can’t finish the job you should have done in the first place. Prove your self a solid workman.

In summary:

The Sluggard/Lazy/procrastinations do the following:

  • Make unnecessary excuses as to why they can’t do their work
  • They are too lazy to do the smallest tasks
  • They do not look to find or be a model of hard-working for others.
  • They do not think about their future but live in the moment of self-satisfaction.
  • They do not serve Christ with their behavior but “themselves” which really serves the Devil.

I want to be clear that there are many more verses in Proverbs that deal with sluggishness. I would highly encourage you to do your own word study on it and see what God says to you. This is just part 1. Similar to the Wife’s role – God has a lot to say about this topic. Please look back for more.

Remember 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

DO YOUR BEST AND REMEMBER THE ANT! I’m praying for you – God bless.