What the Bible Says About Laziness
The Bible has a lot to say about many topics. Laziness is one of those topics. Laziness is an offense to God because it is so contrary to what He intends for humanity. Laziness is a tool of the enemy.
Proverbs is a book of the Bible that promotes the values of wisdom. In contrast, it also identifies many of the characteristics of laziness or slothfulness. The King James Version (KJV) of the Bible uses the term 'slothful' as a synonym for 'lazy'. The word 'slothful' is derived from the word 'sloth'. A sloth is a very slow moving animal that lives in trees and hangs upside down from tree branches. Its name is synonymous with being idle, unwilling to work or unwilling to exert oneself.
These are a few scriptures from the book of Proverbs about laziness.
Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casts one into a deep sleep...
Laziness breeds more inactivity. Laziness is like a drug. It can sneak into a person's life and appear to be very harmless and unassuming. But in reality it is dangerous and leads to worse and worse circumstances. The rest of this verse, Proverbs 19:15, says it leads to hunger or lack. The inactivity of laziness seems gentle but is actually violent. It 'casts' a person into a deep sleep. It throws them into a state of being unproductive. As the people of God, we are to be abundant producers of good fruit. Laziness is an offense to our Creator.
Proverbs 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who employ and send him.
The word 'sluggard' comes from the word 'slug' which is a slimy, slow-moving creature similar to a snail. Proverbs 10:26 says this person is an irritant to those who rely on him or her to be productive. The sluggard irritates those who employ him or her and expect that person to accomplish certain tasks or complete particular assignments.
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Those who choose not to be diligent in their assignments will never be trusted to lead. God promotes those He can trust to be focused and committed to what He has called them to do.
Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man does not catch his game or roast it once he kills it...
This person is reluctant to do what is necessary to obtain food and if they do get food, they are too lazy to prepare it for consumption.
Proverbs 13:4 The appetite of the sluggard craves and gets nothing...
This scripture tells us that the desires of the lazy person are not fulfilled. They have wants but are not willing to put forth the effort to bring those desires to reality.
Proverbs 15:19 The way of the sluggard is overgrown with thorns [it pricks, lacerates and entangles him]...
The way a lazy person chooses to live leads to an entangled and troubled life. In order to be positively productive every living thing requires maintenance. A fruit tree must be pruned, fertilized and otherwise maintained in order to produce the most and the best fruit. A human life requires the same. No maintenance, no pruning, no discipline, no structure lead to wild, foreign and harmful ways being introduced into a person's life. Without diligent effort to keep a healthy and productive life, the weeds and thorns will take over. They will rob the life of nutrients and choke out all the good that may be trying to grow.
Proverbs 18:9 He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.
Laziness is not just an undesirable character trait. It is more serious than a defect or a flaw. It is related to and can result in waste and utter ruin of a person's life. Life is a precious gift from God. We have the responsibility of doing the most with it, according to the Lord's directives. What we do with this life should honor and glorify Him.
Proverbs 19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
This scripture shows that the lazy person won't even put forth the slightest effort to help themselves. What they need can be right in front of them and they won't do even the minimum of what is necessary to gain the benefit from what has been provided.
Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard does not plow when winter sets in; therefore he begs in harvest and has nothing.
The lazy person makes no provision to supply for the future. Therefore, they end up begging others who did prepare, to help them through a difficult time. Everyone needs help from time to time. But lazy people become habitual in expecting others to provide for them.
Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the slothful kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
This is very clear: lazy people refuse to work. They don't want to put forth effort. They only want to do what comes easy. They are selfish with their time and talents.
Proverbs 22:13 The sluggard says, There is a lion ouside! I shall be slain in the streets!
Those who are given over to laziness offer ridiculous reasons for not working. The excuses they come up with only make sense in their own minds.
Proverbs 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes and conceit than seven men who can render a reason and answer discreetly.
Pride and egotism are connected to laziness. A lazy person has a foul way of thinking that only makes sense to them or to another person like them who is void of understanding. Attempting to talk sense to them is useless. Their minds need to be transformed and renewed by the Word of God. Trying to reason with them will not be effective because the way they think is not subject to logic, reason, facts or the Word of the Lord. They have compiled a menagerie of thoughts that all intertwine in a convoluted (twisted) way. Only the power of the Word and the influence of the Holy Spirit can refute the sin of laziness.