I recently made a horrifying discovery while reading the book of Proverbs: I’m lazy.
It’s not surprising I didn’t notice it before. The L-word was hidden behind a Google Calendar that is so packed with meetings, programs, and phone calls it looks like an old-school game of Super Breakout. Yet when I read Proverbs I get the sense that avoiding laziness has less to do with filling a calendar and more to do with how I use the time I’ve been given.
For example, Proverbs 12:27 advises, “Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.” I’m not a hunter, but I suspect this verse is about more than food. I think it’s about following through, and being thorough in everything I do, though if I’m honest I have a tendency to set my work aside once the easy part’s done. I set it aside and say “I’ll finish this up tomorrow” and convince myself I’m not being lazy because I’m moving on to another project.
So I’m not always lazy, I guess, but that’s exactly why such a deficiency has hidden in my blind spot for so long. I’m selective in my laziness. I’m busy lazy.
Another convicting passage for me is found in Proverbs 24, where the text describes a wise man’s view of a dilapidated vineyard owned by a lazy person. The vineyard is covered in weeds and its walls are crumbling, and the wise man concludes: “A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”
What powerful imagery! Do I want to be stripped of everything because I’m too lazy, or too disorganized, to maintain that which I’ve been blessed with? I’m much better at starting new things than maintaining that which I’ve been given, and that’s not only bad stewardship, it’s flat-out lazy.
So I’m grateful for God’s grace, which reminds me that I have the opportunity to repent of my laziness, not so I can fill my calendar even more, but so I can make the most of the time He’s given me. I’m grateful that the wisdom of Proverbs still reveals the foolishness of my heart nearly two decades into my relationship with Christ. And I’m grateful that though my work sometimes go unfinished,
I serve a God who “began the good work within [me]” and “will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).