♣ The Backlash of Laziness
“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” – Proverbs 18:9
It is a wonder to contemplate that in our westernised civilisations, with all its high technology to ‘assist’ humanity in its work, man has come to resent the notion of work altogether; rather than increase in productivity, man has become increasingly unproductive.
Our modern social welfare system, with the aim to get people back on their feet to live independently, has instead produced a people with a long-term dependency on governmental aid and where society relies on the government, comes the guarantee of a people who eventually lose the ability to think for themselves; they become slaves – unbeknownst – of a higher power that controls their thought process and lifestyle.
While it may be said that we are more ‘sophisticated’ in our technological era, it is for certain we are being suffocated from original mentation. Our age has anything other than being filled with masterminds because our thinking is done for us; worse still – we are more than content to live with that. Past civilisations had not the applied science we have, yet their powers of intellect were frequently engaged and stretched to their limitations. The challenge to explore and improve their discoveries never afforded them rest; there always remained the next step forward.
Landing man on the moon to the birth of a cyberculture has left humanity in a vortex of complacency. Rather than stretch our imagination for the welfare of others, we have grown, as a whole, stagnant in our work; all society really strives for now is the ‘achievement’ of self-gratifying-entertainment with as little exertion as possible to obtain it. And this is what makes up most of our society today: the pursuit of entertainment and amusement; people live for it; their whole existence revolves around it.
God has ordained work to be a vital element to the life of the soul and without it one suffers an incredible imbalance, just as with the aspect of rest that is an essential component to equilibrated living; the two go together to strike that harmonious symmetry. Both rest and work are a means to an end to fulfil our God-given purpose, but never an end in and of themselves. Fatigue follows excess work; lethargy follows excess rest; vitality is the expression of balancing both in order to live for the glory of God.
It is not so much the nature of work per se, but how we work that makes all the difference; it is not so much how well we get paid but how well we accomplish our work that is to be the governing factor. In that light we come to understand the wages a labourer is deserving of – whether a small or large amount. No wonder Paul exhorts us to do our work “not by way of eye-service, as people pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:22-23). Yet, how many work undeservedly for their pay; how many are slack in their efforts; for minimum input they require maximum output.
Of course, this not only applies to the area of work, but to every domain of our lives; in prayer, study of God’s Word, in our thinking, our daily responsibilities, the use of our time; our sleep and recreation… (Colossians 3:17). If we are doing such things to the glory of God we will be engaged wholeheartedly.
It is interesting to observe that a majority of those who complain of their workload and are dissatisfied with their vocation, are those who exert very little; those who are content with their employment are those who work hard; they take pride (are conscientious) in their efforts of being a part that contributes to the whole. Weary after a day’s work brings sweet rest to those who deserve it. It is a fixed law that God has put in place as with the nature of gravity.
Many, for the present, get away with dishonesty at disguising their laziness, whether in their employment or unemployment; there are those who work the least while stealing from their employers and there are those who fraudulently declare they are ‘unable’ to work while living under a guise of disability to ‘sponge’ from off the State’s welfare system. Smirk all they want in duping those in authority, believing they are gaining so much at no expense of their own. They have it all so easy and ‘life is such a breeze’ they say, but they will soon come to realize they have lost everything because the backlash of laziness is soul-destructive.
God give us more grace to labour mightily for Him.