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The Bible is like a recipe book that gives us the steps and components for true success.
In its pages, you will see ingredients like diligence, hard work, wise counsel, honesty, willingness, discipline, and wholehearted effort. What you won’t see in the list of ingredients for success in scripture is laziness.
Laziness has the opposite effect on the taste of success we want. Its ingredients don't mix well with what we wish to achieve.
For example, if you wanted to bake a cake that called for two cups of white granulated sugar and you used salt instead, it would have a horrible effect on the cake's outcome.
It may look good on the outside but be unfit to eat. Only good to be thrown away, and the time it took to bake the cake was wasted.
Similarly, laziness may feel and even look like a viable option for the moment. Still, the end result never yields the outcome we desire.
What is Laziness?
In our society, laziness is often defined as an unwillingness to put in effort or to do work. It is also described as inactivity, passivity, or not exerting much energy when performing an activity.
My parents would consider me or my siblings lazy if we were slow to perform chores or if we did them with little effort. In fact, we were even regarded as lazy if we performed tasks in poor quality. So, we were considered lazy if the dishes were not completely clean.
Laziness shows a lack of concern for doing things appropriately. If that attitude is carried over to the workplace or things we offer to do to help others, it will close more doors than it opens.
We all have the power to control laziness because it’s a state of mind. Choosing comfort over the minor inconvenience of effort and hard work will not yield a life of success.
Biblically, laziness is considered unethical and leads a person to a life of servanthood as a flunkey rather than being the awesome leader they were meant to be. A lazy person longs to have but fails to receive it.
“No matter how much a lazy person may want something, he will never get it. A hard worker will get everything he wants.” Proverbs 13:4 in the GNTA.
Laziness leads to immoral acts such as dishonesty in the form of excuses for why so little could be accomplished on their part. According to scripture, laziness also produces penalties, punishments, or even death.
We see this played out in real life as people lose their jobs or homes or get into legal trouble because they are unwilling to work.
Many have suffered premature death due to an unwillingness to exercise, choosing to take it easy over trying to improve their situation. It may seem like the right thing to do at the moment.
However, laziness stops us from making decisions today that we’ll be thankful for tomorrow. “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12.
Through laziness, everything we have can come to ruin. We buy the house but do not do the upkeep. We buy a car but lack the ability to do major repairs.
And in many circumstances, if we put the time and effort into doing what we could through routine checks and maintenance, many catastrophes could have been avoided.
The same goes for our relationships. Laziness and lack of effort in relationships break up marriages and destroy homes.
So if you want to know how to stop being lazy, here's a great video on what you can do to cure your laziness:
Nothing sustainably good comes out of laziness. Again, laziness can also cause a person to lose everything. But through effort and personal growth, anyone can change for the better.
29 Important Bible Verses About Laziness
1. Proverbs 10:4
“Poor is he who works with a negligent and idle hand, But the hand of the diligent makes him rich.”
2. 2nd Thessalonians 3:10
“For even while we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.”
3. Ecclesiastes 10:18
“Through laziness, the rafters [of state affairs] decay and the roof sags, and through idleness [the roof of] the house leaks.”
4. Proverbs 18:9
“He who is careless in his work is a brother to him who destroys.”
5. Proverbs 24:30-34
“I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man lacking understanding and common sense; And, behold, it was all overgrown with thorns, And nettles were covering its surface, And its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well. I looked and received instructions. “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest [and daydream].” Then your poverty will come as a robber, And your want like an armed man.”
I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man lacking understanding and common sense; And, behold, it was all overgrown with thorns, And nettles were covering its surface, And its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well. I looked and received instructions. “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest [and daydream].” Then your poverty will come as a robber, And your want like an armed man.” – Proverbs 24:30-34
6. Proverbs 20:13
“Do not love [excessive] sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes [so that you can do your work], and you will be satisfied with bread.”
7. Proverbs 12:24
“The hand of the diligent will rule, But the negligent and lazy will be put to forced labor.”
8. Proverbs 19:15
“Laziness casts one into a deep sleep [unmindful of lost opportunity], And the idle person will suffer hunger.”
9. John 5:17
“But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now [He has never ceased working], and I too am working.”
10. Proverbs 21:25
“The desire of the lazy kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.”
11. Colossians 3:23
“Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.”
12. Proverbs 6:6
“Go to the ant, O lazy one; Observe her ways and be wise.”
13. 2nd Thessalonians 3:11-12
“Indeed, we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined and inappropriate life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies [meddling in other people's business]. Now such people we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work quietly and earn their own food and other necessities [supporting themselves instead of depending on the hospitality of others].”
14. Ecclesiastes 9:10
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) where you are going.”
15. Proverbs 26:13-16
“The lazy person [who is self-indulgent and relies on lame excuses] says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square [and if I go outside to work, I will be killed]!” As the door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy person on his bed [never getting out of it]. The lazy person buries his hand in the dish [losing opportunity after opportunity]; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes than seven [sensible] men who can give a discreet answer.”
The lazy person [who is self-indulgent and relies on lame excuses] says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square [and if I go outside to work, I will be killed]!” As the door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy person on his bed [never getting out of it]. The lazy person buries his hand in the dish [losing opportunity after opportunity]; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes than seven [sensible] men who can give a discreet answer.” – Proverbs 26:13-16
16. Romans 12:10-11
“Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; never lagging behind in diligence (being lazy); aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord.”
17. Proverbs 10:5
“He who gathers during summer and takes advantage of his opportunities is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps during harvest and ignores the moment of opportunity is a son who acts shamefully.”
18. Proverbs 12:27
“The lazy man does not catch and roast his prey, But the precious possession of a [wise] man is diligence [because he recognizes opportunities and seizes them].”
19. Ephesians 4:28
“The thief [who has become a believer] must no longer steal, but instead he must work hard [making an honest living], producing that which is good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with those in need.”
20. Proverbs 19:24
“The lazy man buries his hand in the [food] dish But will not even bring it to his mouth again.”
21. Proverbs 10:26
“Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him to work.”
22. Proverbs 15:19
“The way of the lazy is like a hedge of thorns [it pricks, lacerates, and entangles him], But the way [of life] of the upright is smooth and open like a highway.”
23. Proverbs 12:11
“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows worthless things lacks common sense and good judgment.”
24. Luke 16:10
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much, and he who is dishonest in a very little thing is also dishonest in much.”
25. 1st Thessalonians 5:14
“We [earnestly] urge you, believers, admonish those who are out of line [the lazy, undisciplined, the unruly, the disorderly], encourage the timid [who lack spiritual courage], help the [spiritually] weak, be very patient with everyone [always controlling your temper].”
We [earnestly] urge you, believers, admonish those who are out of line [the lazy, undisciplined, the unruly, the disorderly], encourage the timid [who lack spiritual courage], help the [spiritually] weak, be very patient with everyone [always controlling your temper].” – 1st Thessalonians 5:14
26. Proverbs 21:5
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage, But everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty.”
27. Jeremiah 48:10
“Cursed is the one who does the work of the Lord negligently….”
28. Proverbs 26:16
“The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes than seven [sensible] men who can give a discreet answer.”
29. Proverbs 22:29
“Do you see a man skillful and experienced in his work? He will stand [in honor] before kings. He will not stand before obscure men.”
Final Thoughts on Bible Verses About Laziness
We all have moments where we say, “I just want a day to be lazy.” After all, living life without taking time to rest and re-energize is unwise. However, when “taking it easy” overplays its hand, it can lead to laziness.
Laziness and “hard work” are both seeds. What we choose to plant today will yield tomorrow's crop.
Laziness produces fruit that none of us wish to eat. But hard work makes dreams come true and lead to happiness and joy. Most of all, God honors hard work and diligence and rewards our efforts with His best.
And if you're looking for more Bible verses which can help your personal growth, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 21 Bible Verses About Having Self-Control in Your Life
- 55 Bible Verses About Gratitude to Be More Thankful in Life
- 17 Bible Verses About Building Confidence and Self Esteem