Humorist Mark Twain once said, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow.” The tale of the grasshopper and the ant by the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop is a stark reminder of the detrimental impact of lazy living. Throughout the summer, the ant worked hard, gathering and storing food for the winter. The lazy grasshopper laughed at him, saying it was time to play and sing. When winter gripped the land, however, the grasshopper had no food and begged the ant to let him have some, but there was no excess to share.
Laziness is a habit that can lead to our living on the generosity of others. The apostle Paul showed little patience for those who were unwilling to work, stating that they should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). He taught the believers in Thessalonica how to steer clear of procrastination and idleness. His instruction included never accepting food from anyone without paying for it and to work hard day and night so they wouldn’t be a burden to anyone (2 Thessalonians 3:8). He also urged them to settle down and earn a living and challenged them to never get tired of doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:12-13).
Jesus also spoke of working quickly to carry out the tasks assigned to us by God, for night is coming when no one will be able to work (John 9:4).
Although Paul delivers a stern warning against laziness, even challenging us to stay away from people who are idle (2 Thessalonians 3:14), he implores us not to treat the lazy as enemies. Instead, he urges us to warn them as we would a brother or sister (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).
Let’s do what we can and should today. For when we lazily put off until tomorrow what we can do today, we steal tomorrow’s joy.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Samuel 24:1-22
Read Philippians 2:12-13 and consider where the desire and the power to work for God are found.
How have you recently struggled with laziness? How does the idea that your work is for God’s glory help you to not put off what you should accomplish today?