The Bible covers all aspects of human life. Christians always refer to the teachings in the Bible when coming up with their decisions. The book of Proverbs covers the teachings of Hebrew wisdom on contemporary issues such as relationships, marriage, wealth, family, and self-control (Hindson, 2003).
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Solomon, the author of the book, associates diligence with terms such as riches, abundance, busy, power, and wisdom (Yates & Hindson, 2012). In the book of Proverbs, Solomon contrasts diligence with laziness under several circumstances. The book presents wisdom as the best virtue. In the book, Solomon illustrates that folly is as an act of making uninformed decisions.
According to him, a foolish person is aware of the advantages of making wise decisions, but always chooses to ignore and makes imprudent choices. All through the book of Proverbs, connections between diligence and laziness have been highlighted.
The book of proverbs differentiates diligence from laziness. Equally, the book differentiates wisdom from folly. In Proverbs 6:6-8, Solomon makes a clear contrast between diligence and laziness while depicting the difference between wise and folly. In the book, Solomon states, “Ants do not have a ruler or a commander yet they collect enough food in summer” (Rapids, 2002).
Here, ants are depicted as diligent creatures since they collect food without being forced by a commander. Solomon implies that the ants collect food with no supervision because they are diligent. Equally, the scripture illustrates that ants are wise because they know that food is plenty in the summer and not in winter.
On proverbs 26:14, diligence is contrasted with laziness (Rapids, 2002). In this verse, Solomon asserts that a sluggish person sleeps in bed when he or she is supposed to be working. The sluggard is compared to a door hinge, which works only under the force of the person closing or opening the door.
In this verse, the sluggard person has been contrasted with productive ants who work tirelessly during summer. The sluggard sleeping individual vividly illustrates the opposite of diligent person. The verse portrays sluggard persons as fools because they opt to stay in bed instead of working to earn a living.
Another aspect of human life that depicts the contrast between diligence and laziness is the aspirations and dreams in life. The verse that supports these Hebrew teachings is proverbs 21:25 (Rapids, 2002). In the verse, Solomon states that a person’s dreams are only achieved through hard work and diligence. He affirms that it is not possible to dream of big things and hope to realize it with no efforts put in place.
In the scenario, he emphasizes that a sluggard person’s dream will never be fulfilled because they spend their days in bed instead of working. In the same verse, Solomon teaches that lazy people are not diligent. He contrasts their laziness with the ants’ diligence and wise decisions. He states that ants benefit from their wisdom and diligence, while the sluggard persons are faced with a series of failures due to their laziness and foolish behaviors.
There are several other verses Proverbs that support the teachings of wisdom, diligence, laziness, and folly as illustrated in the Hebrew customs. For instance, Proverbs 13:14 and 12:5 illustrates that a diligent person is abundantly rich (Rapids, 2002). The diligent person never lacks the resources in life. The person is able to make the right decisions towards achieving dreams and aspirations of life.
Proverbs 12:11 points out clearly that any person who works in the land gets plenty of food, unlike the lazy person. The verse emphasizes on the importance of being diligent. Diligent persons are always diligent and spend their time amassing resources. Therefore, they always reap abundant harvest.
Another scenario where a diligent person is depicted to have rewards in contrast with lazy and folly person is illustrated in Proverbs 31:27 and 12:24 (Rapids, 2002). The verses clearly state that diligent individuals who never associate themselves with the idlers always find themselves in the leadership positions. In addition, the verses maintain that the hand of the diligent person rules.
Through the verses, the book of Proverbs affirms that diligent persons have several rewards compared to the lazy individuals, as demonstrated in various circumstances. The book as referred the lazy individuals with phrases such as poverty-stricken, shame, lack of satisfaction and lack of sense. The book associates these situations with lazy and folly individuals.
Conventionally, society perceives laziness with shame and sees it as the main cause of poverty. Families faced with poverty always make foolish decisions. As such, they engage in alcohol consumption, drug abuse, and poor budgeting. The above actions depict that they lack wisdom and diligence required for any individual to succeed.
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In conclusion, it should be noted that the teachings of Hebrew wisdom show that diligence involves working hard to achieve our goals, while laziness is illustrated as an act of being sluggish with no efforts of achieving something.
The book of Proverbs presents diligence as being aware of everything. On the other hand, being folly is illustrated as being ignorant of important issues in life. Generally, the book shows that diligence has rewards while laziness has negative consequences.
Hindson, E. E. (2003). Courageous faith: life lessons from Old Testament heroes. Chattanooga, Tenn.: AMG Publishers.
Rapids, M. (2002). Holy Bible: King James Version.. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.
Yates, G., & Hindson, E. E. (2012). The Essence of the Old Testament: a survey. Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic.