“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.” Prov 10:4-5
The lazy person is called a sloth or sluggard in Proverbs- someone who is habitually inactive or idle.
There, the sluggard would be laying around, sleeping instead of working- especially during the harvest, a time when it was “all hands on deck-“ when everyone else was pitching in. One who slept while others worked hard in the beating son was a disgrace, as everyone was expected to work and pull their weight.
This kind of example might be hard for us to relate to, in a culture that is more industrial and technological rather than agricultural. But I think many of us may exhibit tendencies of the habitually inactive or idle more than we might realize.
We spend countless hours each week (and sometimes in a day,) scrolling through various social media sites, binge-watching tv, or getting lost in video games.
This is habitual inactivity, idleness— as little to nothing is gained from this time other than brief enjoyment in living vicariously through other’s lives, real or imagined.
If you are like me, you quickly experience regret, the letdown after realizing that I just lost a huge chunk of time on any of these types of outlets- because we realize that valuable time was spent with no real benefit or profit from it. I know, we could all argue the merits of our online activity, and maybe your experiences are very enriching to you, but honestly, I struggle to feel truly connected or like I have contributed positively to others’ lives until I have an actual conversation or meet a tangible need.
But here is another passage that should encourage us: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk only leads to poverty.” Prov 14:23
All hard work brings a profit.
What is the profit, really? Is is merely staying afloat? Is it avoiding ruin by maintaining a balance between what flows in and what flows out? That’s how most of us live. But that is not profit. That is not thriving, it’s merely surviving.
Profit is gain. It is not a maintaining mode, it is a thriving, prospering, advantageous mode.
That is what most of us want. That is what most of us need, whether it is in finances, our emotional health, or relationships, but the path to that is pretty simple— hard work. I didn’t say easy, but I did say simple.
We can take heart in the timeless principles laid out for us over and over again— all hard work brings a profit— it benefits us and is advantageous in many ways.
But we must be honest about our activities— are we like the wise son who gathers crops in the harvest— or are we like the disgraceful son, wasting precious time and energy on things that do not bring us any advantage, gain, or profit?
I pray that YOU experience greater health and profit in the days to come as you work hard at your finances, relationships, and well-being!