One of the most admirable qualities that I appreciate about my husband is his strong work ethic. In our nearly 35 years of marriage, I’ve been blessed with a man who’s been an exceptionally hard worker. The term “laziness” cannot be used to describe him. Whether it be in his military service, at his company as a communications technician, at our home, volunteering at our church or helping others, he has consistently been committed to hard work. He has always been a wonderful example to me and our sons of one who in “whatever work he finds to do, does it with all of his might” [Ecclesiastes 9:10].
The Bible is straight-forward in teaching that laziness is sin. Dozens of verses referring to laziness, slothfulness, idleness and hard work can be found throughout the scriptures. Christians often focus on the “big ugly sins,” those sins that others commit, those sins that we usually avoid. We neglect to recognize or to turn from our own sin of idleness. “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” [Proverbs 13:4]. God has indeed blessed our family and we have benefitted in countless ways due to my husband’s faithfulness to the Christian principle of hard work.
When I see idleness in others, particularly in men, it is very unappealing and unattractive. It seems that God views it that way too. The terms “sloth,” “sluggard,” “idle,” and “lazy” are all referred to in scripture, none positively. “Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks” [Ecclesiastes 10:18]. “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” [Proverbs 13:4]. “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger” [Proverbs 19:15]. “The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway” [Proverbs 15:19].
Laziness is sinful. It dishonors God. The world is watching. Our neighbors are watching. Christians should embrace a work ethic that surpasses that of others inside and outside of our place of employment. The quality of our work should be excellent with an attitude to match. We should give more than what is expected or required. We should go above and beyond, and in so doing, work heartily as unto the Lord, not for men. By doing so, we are witnessing of our faith in Christ and bringing honor and glory to His Name.
Hope nugget: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ [Colossians 3: 23-24].