Crazy Lazy

Crazy Lazy is a miniature book (only 40 pages) by Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio. I picked it up a few weeks ago when I spent a morning reading and studying in Parkside’s lovely bookstore/café. The book is a bite-sized warning against laziness, counsel drawn from the book of Proverbs. The second chapter describes the sluggard’s lifestyle, which Begg sums up in 5 characteristics.

Habitually procrastinating: As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed (Proverbs 26:14). “As he is always hinged to his bed, it is impossible to get this character to start things. He doesn’t like being directly approached….He never actually refuses to do anything. It is not that he comes right out and says, ‘I am not going to do that.’ He just puts it off bit by bit, moment by moment.”

Happy with his excuses: “In fact lazy people are usually masterful at making excuses. When his laziness is disturbed, he becomes incredibly ingenious….The person who doesn’t have a mind to work is never lacking in excuses to secure his idleness….The lazy person then begins to make up absurd excuses. For example, the sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming in the streets!’” (Proverbs 26:13).

Hopeless at completing things: “The third thing to notice about him is that this individual is hinged to his bed, utterly hopeless at completing things. He begins to chase the prey, but in the course of his attempt to run after it, laziness overtakes him and he says, ‘You know, I think I will lie down under this tree for just a moment or two.’” Proverbs 26:15 provides a graphic picture of this slacker: The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. Begg quips, “Picture a guy who puts his hand in a bowl of Cheerios and then says, ‘Cheerio!’”

Hungry for fulfilment: “The lazy individual will always be hungering for fulfilment, because, by virtue of his posture, he never experiences fulfilment. His desires are always there somewhere, but he never realizes them; they never materialize….In their fantasy world, individuals like this may succumb to invitations on the television to buy dumb stuff that apparently makes you skinny and fit, because they think that if they pay $19.95 for some plastic bucket and sit in it, they will get an abdominal frame to die for….The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing. This is not because he can’t, but because he won’t.” The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work (Proverbs 21:25).

Haughty in his opinion of himself: The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly (Proverbs 26:16). The lazy individual “is hearty in his self-appraisal” and somehow thinks work will get done “by osmosis.” He “is a comic, tragic figure—hinged to his bed, habitually procrastinating, happy with his excuses, hopeless at completing things, hungry for fulfillment, and haughty in his opinion of himself.”

Crazy Lazy is a simple, biblical challenge to each and every one of us. In the strength of the Lord, may we show forth diligence in all the works He has planned for us (Eph. 2:10)!

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