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Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
Proverbs 10:4

Here is another Proverb that’s a truism, something that’s generally true. Laziness is one of the most attacked sins in Proverbs, maybe it’s something that Solomon’s son Reheboam especially struggled with. Other proverbs on laziness are more vivid: talking about people to lazy to put their hands to their mouths to eat and paranoid about lions in the streets.

This proverb simply states the fact that laziness tends to lend itself to poverty. It almost goes without saying: that if someone’s not prepared to work they’re not going to be rich in all likelihood. But sometimes obvious truths still need to be stated, especially if someone needs telling, and the fact is just getting taken for granted.

If your hands are diligent on the other hand, the likelihood is that you’re going to make wealth. I’m on holiday in New Zealand, and it seems like the kind of place that America stereotypically is, where you can become anything you want if you put your hands to it. Of course, diligence isn’t always rewarded, but it generally will be.

Take for example Joseph, the diligent servant of Potiphar. Having been wrongfully accused of adultery, he ended up in jail, seeming to disprove this proverb. But in God’s time by some striking providences, Joseph was raised up to be the prime minister of Egypt! Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, and in time he will raise you up.

“Lord God, I humble myself before you, and ask for forgiveness for my laziness. Please help me to be diligent in my work and honouring to you. For your glory, amen”


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Robert Chamberlain

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