Proverbs 24:33-334 (NLT)
A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
I love the nuance of this passage. God is not telling us to become sleep-deprived, hyper-active, 24/7 high achievers who never settle for Second Place. In fact, God’s Word commands us to move in the opposite direction and away from the idolatry that many high achievers, both inside and outside the church, tend to struggle with. Instead, this passage reveals to us the deadly nature of small compromises compounded by the passage of time.
God worked for six days and then he rested…and He calls on us to follow the same pattern (Ex. 20:8-10). God calls on us to do our work well…not to please man, but as if we are doing it for God Himself (Col. 3:23). God calls on us to avoid laziness…as well as idolatry (Pr. 10:4, Ex. 20:3-5). Clearly God wants us to be hard working people who do complete our tasks with excellence and a good attitude while at the same time making sure we don’t overdue it. But He also wants us to be aware of the deadliness of compromise in those same areas…and how, like a little bit of leaven, those compromises can bring us to ruin over time.
Hitting the snooze button from time to time is not a big deal and probably good for us…but not if you hit it every day…or several times every morning. Lazy days are a nice break every once in a while…but they should not recur on a regular basis. Kicking back and “folding your hands” to get some rest is a great idea…but not at your employer’s expense of at the expense of the family you are called to provide for or take care of. In his highly acclaimed book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey nails these concepts down with his now famous quote:
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”