“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.”
Proverbs 10:4,5, NIV
I was recently reading about a man who, at the age of sixty, heard that he might have a terminal condition. Instead of bemoaning his misfortune, he resolved to work harder than ever to do those things which mattered most to him before he died! In the following years he wrote many books and achieved a great deal. At the age of 92 he was still writing, having long since seen off his supposed terminal condition! He was definitely not lazy and he became very wealthy as a result of all the work he did.
There is no doubt that the Scripture for today is true – hard work and diligence do bring reward and wealth, especially when what you do is under the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit, properly applied with wisdom. Laziness is something that is universally condemned throughout the Scriptures. Paul was very blunt in his letter to the Thessalonians when he said, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thess. 3:10).
There are seasons of harvest in all of our lives, when things have built up to a point of fulfilment – and that is definitely not a season to take time off, for then the crop will not be reaped and poverty will result. But it is also true, that if the ground is not properly prepared and the seed is sown, there will not be any harvest at all! So, in every stage of life there is work to do because there is a purpose to fulfil.
And this is just as true in terms of the spiritual work that we do for the Kingdom of God. I was part of the team that worked behind the scenes to prepare for the last major mission that Billy Graham led in the UK. It was called Mission England. There was a great harvest of people who gave their lives to the Lord at the events, which were the spiritual equivalent of a farmer’s harvest crop. But those who worked behind the scenes had been working incredibly hard preparing the ground, for at least three years, making sure that every single detail had been thought through in advance of the time of harvest. Lives were changed and transformed at harvest time because the ‘farmers’ had been doing their work.
There is no shortage of work we can do for the Kingdom of God – let us do it with all our hearts knowing that the size and the quality of the harvest depends on the bit we do!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the warnings of Scripture not be lazy. Forgive me, Lord, for times in my life when I have been deliberately lazy. Help me to be wise at every stage of my life and to learn Your wisdom about the things you want me to do – and then to do them with all my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.