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September 12 – Laziness and diligence (part 1)

“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” – Proverbs 10:4

Scripture readings: Proverbs 10:4; Galatians 6:6-9

Proverbs 10:4 presents a sharp, two-line contrast between the way of laziness and the way of diligence. Laziness is the avoidance of the effort necessary to accomplish a goal. A lazy person loves a paycheque but works as little as possible to get it. He goofs off when the boss isn’t watching. Then he gets upset when his hard-working co-worker gets a promotion and a raise, but he doesn’t. A lazy student does the bare minimum to get by. Her teacher says, “If Beth would apply herself, she could really go places.”

Laziness takes other forms. Maybe we lack the drive to practice disciplines that will help us grow spiritually. Maybe we avoid the effort required to restore a damaged relationship through Christlike communication.

“A slack hand causes poverty” (Proverbs 10:4a). This refers primarily to material poverty. However, it also applies to spiritual, relational and developmental poverty.

We become lazy when we lack vision, hope or focus. If I have no vision for how hard work will help me glorify God, grow as a person, provide for others, add value to others’ lives, or get ahead, why bother? If I believe there is no hope of restoring a relationship, why try? If I have no focus on how I can grow in fellowship with God, why pursue spiritual habits that will help me?

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to forgive you for any laziness in your life. Ask Him for the grace of diligence.

Pastor Richard Zekveld, his wife Nancy (nee Vandermeer), and their five children live in South Holland, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Richard has pastored Covenant Fellowship Church of South Holland (PCA) since 2015, he also works part-time in jail ministry as a chaplain for Chicagoland Prison Outreach. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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