‘I went by the field of the lazy man.’ Proverbs 24:30 NKJV
It is better to be short-handed than to hire a sluggard; better to have nobody than a lazy body. Evidently, Solomon had suffered through a few sluggards on his payroll: ‘As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy man.’ (Proverbs 10:26 NKJV) You know how irritating vinegar is when it’s taken straight, or how aggravating smoke is when it gets in your eyes! That’s how irritating a lazy person is to the one who hires him. Whatever he does will take twice as long to finish, and will either have to be done over or thrown out—at twice the cost. His presence on the job is worse than his absence. He wastes his own resources and everybody else’s. A tragic picture is painted in Proverbs 24:30–31 NKJV: ‘I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.’ Now let’s be clear here: we must show compassion towards those who are down and out for legitimate reasons. But they need more than a handout; they need a hand up! They need more than food and clothes; they need purpose, dignity, and self-worth. And that’s what God wants us to give them. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t great because he was born in a log cabin; he was great because he got out of it. Now, the chances are you won’t end up in the White House, but unless you want to end up in the poorhouse, don’t be a sluggard!