The dictionary defines a slacker as “someone who avoids doing something, especially work or military service.” While the Book of Proverbs doesn’t say much about draft dodgers, it says quite a bit to about people who avoid hard work. Consider these specific proverbs:
As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so is a sluggard to those who send him (10:26).
If employees or coworkers have ever hindered you from accomplishing a job on time, you know exactly what this proverb means. Their slackertude (slacker + attitude) is physically irritating, not to mention embarrassing in the presence of customers.
Two proverbs contrast the effect of slackertude with diligence:
The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
but the path of the upright is a highway (15:19).
Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will serve before kings;
he will not serve before obscure men (22:29).
The life of the slacker becomes more difficult with time, as a bad employment record leads to fewer and worse job opportunities. Diligence, however, is rewarded with success and promotion.
Slackertude has other negative consequences.
The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work (21:25).
According to this proverb, the slacker has every ambition except the desire to fulfill any of them. And without that desire, he goes hungry:
A sluggard does not plow in season;
so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing (20:4).
Laziness brings on deep sleep,
and the shiftless man goes hungry (19:15).
Proverbs considers the slacker so lazy that even when he has food, he can’t eat it:
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not even bring it back to his mouth! (19:24, cf. 26:15)
Unfortunately, the slacker’s lack of hard work affects the family, friends, and community that rely on his work.
One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys (18:9).
There are few sadder sights than a child who suffers because of his parents’ slackertude.
Of course, the slacker always has excuses for not working:
The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!"
or, "I will be murdered in the streets!" (22:13, cf. 26:13)
This proverb is sarcastic. The slacker exaggerates the threats he faces. But let’s say these threats are real. How do the diligent respond? By becoming a lion tamer or a policeman, of course! There’s a solution to every problem; the slacker is unwilling to pay for it, however.
Unfortunately, the slacker doesn’t see the foolishness of his lack of ambition and work. He thinks he’s a pretty smart guy.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who answer discreetly (26:16).
He’s not. He’s just lazy.
As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed (26:14).
Some people can’t work. They’re unemployed because of physical disability or a dearth of jobs. Slackers won’t work. We have a moral duty to financially help the first group. The only duty we have to slackers is waking them up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s