The Sloth vs. the Diligent

March 4, 2024 | Written by Titus Jr Laxa

Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth. 

Proverbs 12:27 

Laziness is an epidemic that is increasing among many young people today. No, we are not saying that they are doing less. In fact, an argument can be made that our young people are doing more today than in years past. They wake up earlier and go to bed later. They have tons of assignments, projects, practices, exams to prepare for. They have multiple classes and extracurricular activities. The problem, however, is that they appear to be hardworking where in fact many are lazy. They express this by spending an average of 4 hours a day scrolling on their smartphones watching TikTok videos or Instagram reels. Then once they realize their assignments are due, they then practice what Doug Wilson calls Intensity or Extension. Intensity is doing 48-hour work for 24-hours. Extension is working overtime for things that should not have required overtime if the student had not procrastinated. The result: Proverbs 12:27.

God’s wisdom book expresses to us today a truism: the slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth. This passage tells us two important truths. First, slothfulness or laziness leads to half-cooked accomplishments. A student who crams his month-long research paper in 2 days before the deadline often produces a document that it incoherent, riddled with mistakes, and copy-paste quotes from Wikipedia. An athlete who starts his training regiment one day before the basketball game is prone to a poor performance, or worse, to an injury. A preacher who prepares a “Saturday Night Special” sermon is bound to be less confident and repetitive in his points while preaching at the pulpit on a Sunday. The reason: God has said, the slothful will not roast his game, he won’t fulfil the potential he actually has had he been diligent.

The second truth is both a rebuke and an encouragement: the diligent man will gain something precious through his hard work and faithfulness. This is a rebuke because many feel their diligence is measured by how intense they did their work or how many times they extended their time to complete their work. Yet diligence is defined as faithful work and consistent work. It means starting your research paper early and committing a fixed time in doing it, say 15-minutes per day. Over time, you will find that (1) you do not need to cram at the last minute, an (2) you are able to do far more in your research paper and with better quality. This truism is also an encouragement for young people who feel that their work is not as good as their smarter and top-notcher classmates. God has said, the diligent man will get precious wealth. Your diligence over time will bring wealth that is both beneficial to you and others. This wealth may be simply added knowledge on the topic you researched in. This may be an increase in wisdom in time management, or a development of self-control. People who cram tend to be erratic, stressed, and lacking self-control. Diligence provides the opposite. The wealth can also be success. The most successful people in the world often are the most disciplined with their time and emotions. This wealth will also be spiritual: for diligence over time requires us to trust God even if we don’t see the immediate results we are hoping for.

My prayer is that you and I will take God’s word to heart. Let us do so by starting to shed our slothful skins, and start being diligent in the responsibilities being given to us, whether it be our house chores, school assignments, research projects, office work, daily devotions, and even ministry responsibilities. Let us turn to God and plead with Him to give us a heart and hands to not do things half-cooked by postponing them to the last-minute, but to start on them early, consistently, and faithfully.

Lord give us wisdom for this!


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