This reflects a lack of motivation, poor stewardship and the waste of resources by hoping or expecting another to do what is the individual’s own responsibility and what they are capable of doing for themselves. Employees should be diligent, using their initiative rather than continually being directed what to do. Doing more than expected, being generous, abounding in the work of the Lord and good works, serving wholeheartedly as if you are serving the Lord, should be distinctive features of Christians (Mt 5:41; 1 Cor 15:58; Eph 6:6,7; Tit 2:14). This should not be considered anything extraordinary or exceptional, rather “we have only done our duty” (Lk 17:7-10). If we show ourselves faithful and trustworthy we will be given greater responsibility (Mt 25:20-23; Lk 16:10-12).

The book of Proverbs contrasts diligence with laziness, reflecting the principle of sowing and reaping: the diligent are characterised by wisdom, riches, prospering and hard work while the lazy miss opportunities, want much but get little, love pleasure, get into mischief

Passionate goals cure laziness

and experience poverty (Prov 10:4,5, 13:4, 14:23, 21:17, 28:19).

Paul said, “We were never lazy”, adding this comment “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thes 3:6-13; Heb 6:12). In societies where there is no welfare system this literally is the case – no work, no food. For those unable to find paid employment there are a multitude of charity organisations that could benefit with volunteer help. Be proactive, using your initiative to explore ways to be involved with something you are passionate about, or even venture out on your own. What goals and motivation do I have – are they such that they inspire more than good intentions?

Through diligent and faithful work habits you will win the respect of others (1 Thes 4:11,12). We are accountable for using the talents we have been given, besides which our skills are further developed by actively doing. However, our lives should not be a continual frenzy of activity or over commitment so that nothing is done well – we need times of rest and relaxation to enable us to approach our work with creativity, freshness and enthusiasm.

See also: accountability, diligent, employment, goals, idleness, industrious, intention, motive/motivation, responsible/responsibility, servant/serving, sow and reap, work.