by CRISPIN N. FLORENTINO
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of a lazy person who has been rewarded for his slothfulness, or has been set as an example to be imitated, or has become an inspiration to others? Obviously, you haven’t. More so at present when people have to double their efforts to meet their everyday needs and cope with stiff competition in the workplace vis-a-vis the uncertainties that confront them in their pursuit of a blissful existence, laziness has no place in the minds of those who strive to succeed.
The Holy Scriptures makes known to us who is lazy. The Book of Proverbs says: “The lazy man longs for many things, but his hands refuse to work …” (Prov. 21:25, Living Bible).
The lazy man refuses to work even if he is capable of doing so. In the first place, he refuses to look for even a decent job to acquire the many things he longs for. Even if he is given an opportunity to land a promising job, he does not toil hard to nurture it.
Typical also of a lazy person is what is described in this other verse of the Holy Scriptures, thus: “The lazy man turns over in bed. He gets no farther than a door swinging on its hinges” (Prov. 26:14, Today’s English Version).
The lazy man is very much fond of sleeping. The time he should spend for work he will rather spend in bed. And as he does not want to work, he finds many alibis for him to free himself from the tasks he should undertake, as what is illustrated by the Holy Writ, thus: “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” (Prov. 26:13, New King James Version).
He makes as an excuse the things he is afraid of – mostly in the mind. We hear of a person who refuses to work because of unfavorable weather condition, undesirable news, or threats that are not even verified. Indeed, a lazy man is good at creating excuses.
NO PROGRESS FOR THE LAZY
“Hard work will give you power; being lazy will make you a slave” (Prov. 12:24, TEV).
Certainly, a lazy person will not prosper in life. There are some who, because of laziness, are not able to finish their schooling notwithstanding the ample opportunity afforded them by their parents. As a result, they are not qualified in the job they want to be in. In the end, they find themselves in a corner contemplating the time and opportunity they have wasted.
Similarly, there are those who have acquired a good job, but because of laziness, do not strive, and end up being unproductive. Fulfilled in them is the biblical pronouncement, thus: “Being lazy will make you poor, but hard work will make you rich” (Prov. 10:4, Ibid).
Much has been said about the ill effects of laziness, but the worst is: “A lazy man who refuses to work is only killing himself” (Prov. 21:25, Ibid.).
Indeed, these are those who, because of laziness, starve to death.
LESSON FROM THE ANTS
Solomon, a wise king, has advised the lazy, thus: “Lazy people should learn a lesson from the way ants live. They have no leader, chief, or ruler, but they store up their food during the summer, getting ready for winter” (Prov. 6:6-8, Ibid.).
Ants take the initiative to work for their future, grabbing every opportune time to store up their food. Indeed, when the rains come, they have something to eat from what they have stored up. May this industriousness of ants be a constant reminder to people that they should work for their own living and not just rely on what others have stored up for themselves. They must not waste time preparing for a prosperous life.
The youths, likewise, should make use of their vigor in preparing for their future. They should not waste their time in earthly revelries that jeopardize their future. Instead, they should study well and grab every opportunity for their intellectual, emotional, and, most of all, spiritual growth that can ensure a prosperous life in future times.
This lesson on hard work was supported by Apostle Paul in his letter to the Christians at Ephesus, thus: “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hand, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Eph. 4:28, New International Version).
The apostle admonishes every Christian to work for “something useful … that he may have something to share with those in need.” Among those whom this biblical admonition must be fulfilled in are the heads of family. They should strive hard to satisfy the needs of their household. By this, they can ensure the well-being of their family as it is instructed by the greatest Provider – our God in heaven.
HARD WORK NOT ENOUGH
Exemplary virtue indeed is being industrious, yet it is not enough to warrant success. It must be coupled with another virtue – righteousness. The Holy Scriptures says: “The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked” (Prov. 10:3, Ibid.).
Inasmuch as it is God who teaches us industriousness, it is also He Who teaches us how our hard work can bring us a prosperous life – that is, if we live a righteous life. Therefore, those who earn a living must do it in a noble way and not by illegal, deceitful or immortal means.
Challenging indeed is the world where we live and truly hard is coping with the demands of our existence, yet, we can be certain of a successful life guaranteed by our greatest Provider by following the virtue He laid down, thus: “Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing” (Ps. 34-9-10, Ibid.)
(Excerpt from the Iglesia Ni Cristo PASUGO: God’s Message, April 2013 Edition, Volume 65, Number 4, ISSN 0116-1636, pages 29-30. The article belongs to the author and publisher.)