Proverbs 24:31

And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.

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If you like to sleep, you may resent this proverb. If you procrastinate, you may not like it either. If you are undisciplined, you may resent the author. Solomon identified lazy and undisciplined people by the condition of their personal and professional property.

Solomon observed men (Eccl 1:12-18). This proverb summarizes lazy men, who like to sleep (Pr 24:30-34). Foolish or slothful men may have fields and/or vineyards (Pr 24:30), but they are in a state of disrepair (Pr 24:31). Solomon learned something by considering their condition (Pr 24:32) – the owners were lazy and loved to sleep (Pr 24:33).

Solomon saw poverty and trouble approaching fast and surely (Pr 24:34). The man who likes to sleep and take it easy is going down (Pr 20:4,13; 21:17). If sluggards would look ahead to see the pain and difficulty coming, they might apply a little more energy to their work today to avoid them. But fools neither look ahead nor like to expend such energy.

The fields and vineyards of lazy men show their sin. This one was overgrown with weeds and the protective wall was broken down. Daily maintenance had been neglected. Weeds and broken walls take time. The gradual ruin of productive assets occurs slowly over many days wasted by sleeping in, taking naps, or playing too many games with a ball.

Reader! What would Solomon know about your diligence, sleep habits, self-discipline, and playing by looking in your checkbook? Is it up to date? Balanced to the penny? All entries informative and neatly posted? Past statements for a couple years well organized and together? Or are your financial records overgrown with weeds and broken down?

Reader! Did you pass the checkbook test? What would he think looking in the trunk of your car? Asking to see your file of certificates and documents? Checking the clutter in your garage, basement, or storage room? How many unwashed dishes are in the kitchen sink? And what is the average age of the leftovers in the refrigerator? Solomon, mercy!

Reader! Do you still look like a diligent man? What about your handwriting? Your credit score? The cleanliness and repair of your automobiles and house? Your clothes and closet? Your punctuality? Your resume? Your personnel file at your employer? Your knowledge of the job market? Your educational or professional certifications? Your last review? Your reputation with the man who can promote you? Your knowledge of the future of your business or employer? Your reputation among peers in your profession?

What is the cure? Do something right now that you were going to do “later,” even if it is very small. A few small victories can win a war. Make it a daily habit to do something beyond the minimum, something you did not do daily last year, to keep your life, your house, your effects, and your professional pursuits in top shape. Before you “call it a day,” make sure you do one extra thing to bring every area of your life into good repair.

How is the field or vineyard of your relationships? Neatly weeded with a wall for a hedge against bitterness or grudges? How about your knowledge of the word of God? Is it current, well organized, increasing, and ready to be used for those in need? How about your soul? Are weeds of unconfessed sins growing there? Is the wall of internal holiness keeping out ungodliness? Is the Holy Spirit pleased with what He sees? Or grieved?

Choose diligence over sleep and taking it easy to get rid of the weeds and maintain the walls in every area of life. Poverty and trouble can come in any area, so make a change today to protect yourself. What can you do right now to protect your life and your soul?