Can you define laziness?


Hi Jeff,

Please can you explain laziness?

When can we say someone is lazy when the person is not working and he desires not to work or is it someone who is working one job and is contented with that with no desire to do another?

Thanks, sir.


To be lazy is to live a life where you attempt to give the absolute minimum effort to any and all tasks.

"I passed by the field of the sluggard and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense, and behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles; its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction. "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest," Then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man" (Proverbs 24:30-34).

It is the opposite of "diligence" where a person works hard, efficiently, speedily, and produces good quality results. The lazy person (the sluggard) puts off tasks because they are not seen as essential right now. Thus, over time, the problems build until they are too great to handle. In contrast, Solomon asks that we consider the ant.

"Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest" -- your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man" (Proverbs 6:6-11).

The ant works when everyone else is playing and taking it easy (in the summer) and works when the opportunities are best (in the harvest). Just as small delays will eventually build up, small gains also build over time.

Thus, yes, a person who avoids work is clearly lazy. Whether one job is enough depends on whether the person is progressing with that single job or not. If you work only to just have enough -- living paycheck to paycheck -- eventually something disastrous will occur and you won't have any reserves to get through the problems. "There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up" (Proverbs 21:20). Instead, we are urged to work to have a bit extra, not just for ourselves but for others as well. "He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need" (Ephesians 4:28).

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