Passage: Proverbs 6:6-19
The passage starts by encouraging us to look at one of God's most wonderful creation, the ant. We almost always forget it's existence, until we get bitten by it. :) The ant, despite it's being a little creature, is the most responsible of all. The ant needs no boss to give it orders, motivational speeches, or a cracking whip to keep it working. No inspector to inspect their work, no need for anyone to hold them accountable. Ants are self motivated, self initiators. They work hard and diligently without anyone looking over their shoulders, applying pressure, or giving bonus or incentives. The ants also have a vision of what needs to be done (v.8 "yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest"), and they make preparations to meet that need. They know that everything they do contributes to their own well being, as well as everyone else in the community. They are able to maintain their focus and concentrate on the job at hand, not allowing distractions to lead them astray. They also work as a team. Each ant does his part, carrying his part of the load and doing his assigned role with dependability.
Well, ants indeed are responsible beings. Having read the passage made me think why I still get lazy. Well, compared to the ant, we have bigger brains, right? Yet they seem to think more responsibly than humans. I think it's because they don't get easily distracted by other things. Unlike humans, we have several things that gets us hooked up, like vices and some overdone recreations. We so much enjoy spending our time on things like watching TV, going to the mall, spending too much time in front of the computer, talking on the phone, texting, etc... things that don't really contribute much on our living. I mean, yeah we sometimes need a break, but it doesn't mean we have to be on break all the time. We have work to do!
I used to think being lazy is not such a big deal.. not a sin. Not until I read this topic. We might think we're not doing anything wrong with doing nothing at all, but actually, doing nothing is also equal to doing wrong! And this statement is supported by some Bible passages to.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 (New Living Translation)
Our orders--backed up by the Master, Jesus--are to refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy and refuse to work the way we taught you. Don't permit them to freeload on the rest. We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you, so get on with it. We didn't sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us. In fact, we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn't be burdened with taking care of us. And it wasn't because we didn't have a right to your support; we did. We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious. Don't you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? "If you don't work, you don't eat." And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately--no excuses, no arguments--and earn their own keep.
See how the issue on being idle was addressed during that time! Everyone should earn their own keep. It's commanded. Ordered. Being lazy is not tolerated in the Bible either.
Though the passage in 2 Thessalonians talks about making a living, it also applies in our day to day lives. We sometimes plainly idle our times away. We might have accomplished so many things if we have spent our time accordingly. God wants us to be productive, to bear fruit.
I remember reading one chapter in J. Harris's book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" that talks about the same thing. He said there his mom uses the phrase "hustle while you wait" to express the same idea. If she sees any of them picking at food while she cooks dinner, she'll snap, like a football coach to his players "Don't just stand up there! Hustle while you wait!" That means set the table, put away the groceries, or load the dishwasher; be productive during a lull in the action.
Why is God being empathetic on spending our time wisely? Because He knows what's good for us, and He always want the best for us. Just like our parents, God doesn't want us doing away our time on things that doesn't contribute to our growth and maturity. He doesn't want us to become spoiled brats, but rather a capable individual. Being able to spend our time wisely contributes greatly to our maturity because it develops our being as a responsible individual, making the most of our time.
Also, God knows that being lazy will lead us only to destruction. Not only being idle, but also the bad habits that we have. If we continue on idling away, poverty will come with certainty and seeming suddenness because we're not alert or prepared.
How are we to spend our time then? God tells us in Colossians 3:17 and Colossians 3:23-24 how we could spend our time wisely, and pleasing for our Lord.
Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Always remember, in everything we do, it is the Lord we are serving. So do away with our bad habits and get ourselves to work! Work for the good.. for the best. Afterall, everything is also for our own good. And if we have done our tasks, we will all receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. :) Remember, everything will pay off. God bless you all.