What does the Bible say about laziness?
What Does the Bible Say?
Brother Todd  

What Does The Bible Say About Laziness?

What does the Bible say about laziness and procrastination? Laziness is the unwillingness to work or use energy. 

Laziness and procrastination can be defined as a disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to do so. It is often considered a vice, and people who are lazy are often lacking in self-discipline. Laziness can lead to several negative consequences, including missed opportunities, decreased productivity, and even depression.

What Does the Bible Say About Laziness?

The Bible has a lot of wisdom on the topic of laziness and its consequences. In Proverbs, we are told that “lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4). This is because lazy people are not willing to work hard, and they end up not having anything. In contrast, people who are willing to work hard will be rewarded with wealth. The Bible also tells us that laziness is a sin. In Ecclesiastes, we are told that “there is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2:24-25. 

We are supposed to do our work as if we were doing it unto the Lord and find fulfillment in it, because it is a gift from God. If we are lazy, we are not working as unto the Lord and that is wrong for a healthy person. Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” The consequences of laziness are not just financial. We can experience physical issues when we are lazy due to not taking good care of our bodies. We must treat our bodies like a temple of God and do our best to stay healthy so we can continue to do the work that God has called us to do. 

We also see that laziness can lead to spiritual problems.

In Matthew 7:13-14, we are told that “the gate is wide, and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few”. This is because when we are lazy, we are not taking the time to seek out God and his wisdom. If we don’t take the time to gain understanding through prayer and reading his word, we will surely end up going down the wrong path in life. This can lead to emotional and spiritual destruction. 

Proverbs 4:7 says The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it costs all you have, get understanding.” From this verse in the Book of Proverbs, we can see that gaining wisdom will not be easy, but it in fact can “cost us all we have”. If we are ignorant and lazy in our pursuit of wisdom, we surely will not obtain it.

In the Bible, God repeatedly condemns laziness and procrastination. In fact, he regularly commands His people to avoid it. The word for lazy or laziness in the Bible’s original language means sluggard, slothful, and indolent. 

In the book of Proverbs, for example, we read that “the sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing” (Proverbs 20:4). This verse makes it clear that the Bible warns strongly against laziness because it leads to poverty.

There are other reasons why the Bible warns against laziness. 

First, laziness is a form of disobedience. When we are lazy, we are not working towards achieving God’s plans for us. We are not using our talents and abilities to His glory. Financial loss comes because of laziness. If we are lazy, we will not do the work of the ministry that Jesus has commissioned believers into. 

Second, laziness breeds all sorts of other sins. When we are lazy, we are more likely to give into temptation. We are more likely to watch television instead of spending time in prayer. We are more likely to eat unhealthy food because we don’t feel like cooking. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with watching tv or eating the occasional donut. However, I am saying that if we don’t treat our lives as a blessing from the Lord that should never be taken for granted then we will easily fall into bad habits that will slowly harm us and separate us from the will of God in our lives. 

Third, laziness can destroy relationships. When we are lazy, we don’t put the time in to invest in our relationships and serve others. If we would rather lay around all day and put off crucial interactions with the people around us, then we will regret it.

Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Remember one of the seven deadly sins in sloth. 

All these reasons show us that God is against laziness and Christians should avoid it slipping into its dangerous habits. We should be hardworking people who use our talents and abilities for God’s glory. We should be disciplined in our eating and sleeping habits. And we should be active in our relationships, sharing love, spending time with others, and building them up. Followers of Jesus will receive a rewarding life when they join God in his work to reach people. 

How to change your habits to stop being lazy:

1. Pray for God’s help. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Ask God to give you the strength and motivation you need to overcome your procrastination and laziness. 

2. Set achievable goals. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Write down your goals and work towards achieving them one step at a time. This will help you stay on track and prevent you from getting overwhelmed or discouraged. 

3. Prioritize your tasks. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Figure out which tasks are most important and prioritize them accordingly. This will help you stay focused and motivated to complete them! 

4. Develop a plan of action. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Create a plan of action for each task or goal that you have set for yourself. Make sure that it is realistic and achievable so that it is easier for you to stay motivated. 

5. Take regular breaks. Ecclesiastes 11:10 says, “Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” It is important to take regular breaks while working on tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed or burn out easily. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand without feeling too exhausted or overwhelmed by it. Which could lead to you giving up completely.

Be diligent in these five tasks. For a lesson the importance of diligence, which is the opposite of laziness click here: Diligence in the Bible

In conclusion, the Bible has a lot to say about laziness, procrastination, and the consequences of being lazy. We are told that it is a sin and that it leads to all sorts of problems. If you struggle with laziness, don’t worry, there are ways out. So, if you are lazy, make sure to start working hard so that you can overcome this sin and live a prosperous and fulfilling life. A life that is in-line with the will and call of God over your life. 

What Does the Bible Say About Laziness: 

The Bible mentions laziness mostly in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 6:6-11Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and want like an armed man.” 

Proverbs 10:26Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.”

Proverbs 13:4The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” 

Proverbs 19:15 “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.”

Proverbs 20:4A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.” 

Proverbs 21:25The sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” 

Proverbs 24:30-34I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of one who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and want like an armed man.’”

Proverbs 26:13-16:The sluggard says, ‘There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the street!’ As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.” 

What Are Some Mental, Physical, And Spiritual Health Effects of Laziness?

Laziness has been linked to several negative mental, spiritual, and physical health effects. These effects can include depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor productivity, and decreased life satisfaction. Additionally, laziness can lead to physical health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and back pain. Laziness can be both a cause and a symptom of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. 

When someone is lazy, they may be less likely to participate in activities that bring them joy or that they find meaningful. This can lead to a decrease in life satisfaction and an overall feeling of gloominess. Additionally, lazy people may be more likely to ruminate on negative thoughts and to engage in negative self-talk. This can perpetuate feelings of depression and anxiety and can make it difficult to break out of the cycle of laziness. 

A prayer against laziness:

Dear God, we come to you today struggling with laziness. We know that you have called us to do great things, but sometimes it’s hard to get moving. We know that you are the God of all creativity and productivity, so we ask that you help us to overcome our laziness. Give us the motivation to get started on the tasks before us. Help us to see the value in hard work and to find joy in serving you with our gifts and talents. We know that you are always faithful and that you will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bible Axiom is partnered with Ministry Voice’s most trusted non-profit ministry that is reaching the unreached and caring for the poor: His Feet International. Check out how you can be a partner and support all that God is doing. Pressing Needs

Further reading:

What does the Bible say about revenge?

What does the Bible say about complaining?

What does the Bible say about going to church

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