A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame (Pro 10:4-5 ESV).

One of the hard issues for me to deal with is that part of me that wants to be lazy. It is interesting to me that laziness is an issue that any of us have due to our workaholic culture. However it stands to reason that there will be a segment of our culture that pushes back on such frenetic pace of life and would rather hang out in a much more relaxed context. But the obvious question is why? Why do we “live for weekends” and “long for holidays”.  We love our time off and there is nothing wrong with it. But there is something about the Flesh that lingers in all of us that cultivates a huge tug and temptation to be consistently self-absorbed and, as we suggest here, to be lazy.

I will be the first to say that there is a difference between being lazy on your own time and being lazy when things need to get done. Unfortunately the problem for most of us is we have a hard time making that distinction. When we are lazy on our own time there isn’t much of a problem. When we are lazy on someone else’s time then there is a problem. If you are married and have kids you know what I mean. When we are being lazy when everyone else knows there is work to be done then it gets complicated.

What does the Bible say? Note the verse above – Proverbs 10:4-5. Being slack means just that, slackness or laziness. The problem is being slack or lazy as a lifestyle or when things need to be done. The trouble is the conflict of perspective that always ensures: some people in poverty are there because of circumstance, many are there because of slackness or laziness. However, many who are in poverty because of their own laziness have convinced themselves they are poor because of circumstance (not their fault) and not laziness. Many who are there by circumstance are often hard workers who do not want to stay in poverty.

Every generation has a different perspective on their own work ethic. For example there is a different between Baby Boomers and Generation Y-ers. Baby Boomers (generally) prefer phone communication and face-to-face business transactions. Generation Y-ers prefer to communicate with blogs, IMS, text messages and emails.  Gen Y sees this type of communication as effective and efficient while the older generation sees this as lazy and potentially harmful to the business.

Hard work vs. Efficiency: Perceptions aside there is a need for basic responsibility for effective and efficient work (hard work is an old adage that with the age of technology may not be the best term). Once we get past the mode or method of getting things done then the question is what is getting done? While I believe that both the “means” and the “ends” have biblical and spiritual implications, at the end of the day I am not sure it matters as much how people get things done (as long as the “how” is built on biblical principle) as much as what is getting accomplished and moving things forward. This by no means suggest I believe that the ends justify the means but that everyone has their own way of getting things done.

Food for Thought: On the more unorthodox side of things I had a friend of mine who told me that he had a friend who was a Christian professional gambler. That his “job” was to go win money at casinos or something (can’t quite remember exactly what the context was). So his claim is that if it is legal what makes it any different or riskier than a huge assortment of other jobs or hobbies that people get involved in – day trading, buying and flipping houses, being self-employed. These issues are a whole other “can of worms” which we do not have space to address.

My encouragement is this: Know your tendencies and ask yourself if there is video of your life that reflects the verses above. If there is segments of your life that make a good illustration for the verses above, I would suggest you make adjustments. If you work for someone – then I believe a Christian ought to be putting in their very best to put in high quality work. If you work for yourself… you probably already know this.