25 ¶ The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. 26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
A literal view of this verse corresponds to many verses before it. The lazy man or woman is driven crazy by their desires, for which they will not work themselves. All day long they hunger for things for which they will do nothing. The righteous man, however, and by the contrast the slothful, lazy person is not righteous nor can be, works hard and has money to give to those truly in need.
For Christians there are several verses that come to mind regarding this subject.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
2Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
Of course, this becomes a problem in a nation where we have been led to believe that a college education and, therefore, not working with your hands, is the highest good for us. For as our economy is dismantled piece by piece by those with a global view so that in this last recession experts tell us that college educated men suffered a higher rate of unemployment than even teenage girls, many of them, particularly over the age of 35 and most definitely over 50, never to be employed again for a living wage or salary, there is less and less to earn for our own basic needs and wants and in order to help others. (from the Free Market pamphlet I received from the Ludwig Von Mises Institute on July 5, 2011.)
The famous Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages, Maimonides, had a view of these verses with regard to wisdom that would be applicable to the modern Christian in a spiritual sense. A Christian hungers for a relationship with Christ that is full and rich so that he can experience the Lord as a real person and not just an idea or a mythical figure. But, God speaks to the Christian through His words in the Bible as the Christian speaks to Him in prayer. Sadly, the slothful Christian is too lazy to even open the Bible. He wants a relationship with Christ by simply wishing for it, but he or she is far too lazy to either read or hear God speak to them through His word.
Many of these slothful Christians won’t unite with a body of believers to worship God and hear His word preached and won’t even take the easy step of going to someplace online like sermonaudio.com and listen to a classic sermon by Jonathan Edwards or some other preacher of old to be enriched. Sloth in Christians with regard to hearing God’s word or reading it is often as much about pride as it is laziness. Some Christians who don’t have a body of believers, a church, to unite with are far too proud to submit themselves to hear a preacher or to associate humbly with others to worship.
Often, the faith of the slothful Christian is the first casualty of their laziness. Not establishing a sure relationship with the Saviour, depending on their own imagination and will in victory over sin and life’s troubles, rather than on God, leads to spiritual failure and despair and often a rejection of God as having any revelance in their lives. Christian, there are no relationships with anyone where you do all the talking and don’t hear the one to whom you’re addressing your speech. Prayer without Bible reading and hearing is like trying to have such a relationship where you do all the talking but no listening.
Another casualty of the slothful Christian’s laziness is sound doctrine. Because they will not submit themselves to hear a good preacher, when they do read their understanding is influenced by every whim of their imaginations. They wind up in heresies and confusion. They quote verses that aren’t in the Bible but that some equally lazy Christian has told them are there. They say things that aren’t true about God’s word and about God, misrepresenting Him like Job’s friends did, and floundering in every little storm of life that comes along, also deceiving and corrupting others. Most of our modern heresies that came from the so called Second Great Awakening in American history came from Biblically illiterate lightweights or men whose worship of their own imagination and need to be admired and respected by followers trumped their desire for the truth of God.
2Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
The lazy Christian foolishly believes that his or her conscience is the response of God to their yearnings and pleadings. Yet, because he or she refuses to read God’s word they don’t understand that the conscience can sometimes be seared by sin and unresponsive to God (1Timothy 4:2). They believe that, apart from the Bible, that God has laid something on their heart but as the English leader, Oliver Cromwell, noted in a famous debate, much of what we call faith is simply human imaginings and fantasy.
All day long, the lazy Christian hungers for God’s response but is too slothful to receive it. The righteous person not only will hear and read God’s word and feed themselves but will spend their own money to make it available to others, giving away Bibles and supporting ministries that spread God’s word to those who would not otherwise have access to it. Not only would the righteous person feed hungry people’s need for physical food but their need for spiritual food as well.
Are you a lazy Christian? In that slothfulness is contrasted against the righteous person we can see that you cannot be lazy with God’s word and be pleasing to God.