Do you know someone who is lazy? Laziness is a fairly common ailment. If we’re honest, most of us struggle with this mood from time to time; some more than others. While occasional bouts of laziness are normal, a lifestyle of laziness can be very destructive.
There’s a great Bible passage that addresses laziness and its negative consequences. God used a little creature — the ant — to teach us a valuable character trait!
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! Even though they have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. — Proverbs 6:6-11 (NLT)
Ants are very interesting insects. Scientific observation helps us understand why God highlighted this tiny specimen to teach us an important life truth.
John Silling, an entomologist at Perdue Universtiy wrote this about the ant:
Basically the ant’s entire life, which can range up to seven years, is spent working. They gather food, bring it back to the nest, and use it for day-to-day meals as well as to store for the winter. In addition, the amazing insects are adept horticulturists. Some species gather bits of grass or leaves and take them back to their nests. On this organic matter … used much like fertilizer, they place tiny mushroom spores and grow them for food …
God brought one of His creatures to center stage in Scripture and said, “Take a look at this little guy and learn a big lesson. Learn the value of hard work. Learn the value of being industrious and productive. Develop the same kind of character as the ant, and you’ll be blessed!”
Actually, if you really think about it, laziness is a waste and a curse. It’s not only an avoidance of responsibility, it’s poor stewardship of the resources and opportunities God gives us. A lazy person suffers. Whether it’s spiritual laziness, laziness in our relationships or laziness in our work assignments, the end result is never good.
F.O. Walsh wrote a humorous poem about the lazy life:
While other men paint, or water or weed, I’m curled up in a chair, with a good book to read. While other men shop, or shovel, or mow, I’m … watching some show. I offer my help, but my wife says, ‘Forget it. If you lend me a hand, I know I’ll regret it.’ And therein’s my secret, I’m very adept at only one thing, and that’s being inept!
God took a small insect and taught us a big truth. He reminded us of the rewards of a diligent, productive life. Take a look at another verse that reinforces the lesson:
Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. — Proverbs 13:4 (NLT)
The puny ant preaches a powerful message. The next time you see one, be inspired!