Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 26:13
"The sluggard says, 'There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square.'"
This is the Hebrew word asel which means sluggard, lazy. These are the people who find it easier to resist any impulse to action. They have given into the inertia of their life. Whatever they are doing feels easier to keep doing. They don't want to put out extra effort. They don't want to encumber new risk. They like the known over the unknown.
What we see in this proverb is not that the sluggard is not active; it is that they have excuses to not do the new thing that they know they should do.
In these two verses, we look at two excuses that the person who is becoming a sluggard uses to become a failure at life.
First, they have an excuse why they should not get up and go outside and do work – there is a lion outside. Well, there is not a lion outside; it is a very remote possibility. It is an excuse. It was something they could say to keep from doing work. When you make up excuses to keep you from doing the work you are supposed to do that day, you are a becoming a sluggard.
Every time I read this verse, I think about how many excuses I can invent for not going to the gym and working out. It is too cold outside. My muscles feel strained from the walking I did yesterday. I need a full-night sleep before I should really start exercising hard. All the equipment is probably used up. The roads are icy and I might get in an accident.
The same thing is true for a hundred other things you know you should do. Go back to school. Try and open up that new account. Ask for the promotion. Start your own business. Learn Spanish. Help your children with their homework. Join the small group at church. Volunteer at the local rescue mission. All of these and many others are things that you know would benefit you and your family, but there are just so many excuses that immediately pop up that sound reasonable so you let the sluggard excuses keep you from the good works and the blessed life that God has for you.
Now there are times when you should take some time off and rest, but that is not what this is talking about. Do the righteous thing even though you have a hundred reasons not to. You will feel better for every sluggard impulse you overcome.