Proverbs 26:13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” (NKJV)
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I love the Proverbs because of the colorful and expressive language that is used. In today’s verse we find a man who is proclaiming, “there’s a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the street.”
This is not just any man, it is a lazy man. Why would a lazy man be proclaiming that there is a fierce lion in the street? To casually read over this verse you might chuckle a little from its humor or be puzzled about what in the world it’s talking about. First, take a look at what “lazy” means in this context:
- Slothful – Disinclined to work or exertion; lazy.
- Sluggard – A slothful person; an idler.
- Lazy – Resistant to work or exertion; disposed to idleness. Slow-moving; sluggish. Conducive to idleness or indolence. Depicted as reclining or lying on its side.
What is the proverb writer trying to tell us by describing an idle, sluggish, slow moving lazy man hollering “there is a lion in the road”? He is saying that the lazy, undisciplined or unmotivated person will make up any type of excuse, no matter how absurd, to put off doing the work that needs to be done.
Before we are too think “not me”, stop and consider some common excuses for not doing what has to be done.
- I’m too tired from staying up late watching TV to get up early and study my Bible.
- People would just laugh at me if I tried to tell them about Jesus because I don’t know enough Bible verses.
- I can’t disciple someone until I get my life fixed because I’m a lot worse than they are.
- I don’t have to go to church because I can worship God just as easy sitting in my boat; besides, they’re all just a bunch of hypocrites anyway.
- I can’t give to the Lord’s work. I can barely pay my cable TV, gym membership, Blockbuster rentals and weekly restaurant tab as it is.
- I’m not a pastor, I can’t talk to someone about the Bible. What if they asked me a question that I don’t know?
I could go on and on but you get the point. It’s easy to laugh at some lazy good-for-nothing who wants to sit on the couch and watch TV all day and dream up reasons why he just can’t get up and go to work, while we conveniently ignore our own excuses for the spiritual laziness we have in our life.
Stop and think every time you hear yourself say “I can’t…”, “well I would, but…”, or “I’ll finally do that when…” Consider your motives and ask if your “reason” is nothing more than a “lion in the street”.
Heavenly Father, helpless to never be lazy and help us to recognize when we make excuses for not doing what we should be doing. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Contemplation: Do you have any lions in the street? Are your excuses a little more subtle and refined but still just excuses?
Application: Think about the spiritual “work” in your life. What excuses do you make for either not doing them or falling short?
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?