The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
How is it that desire kills the sluggard? Being lazy is the obvious cause. Being a slacker is a serious flaw, to be sure, but combining that flaw with ungodly desire is deadly. Think of the addicted who crave and crave for a fix. Their very addiction makes them sluggards, while all the more it is critical for them to earn money to satisfy their cravings which can never be satisfied. Unless their addiction is broken, they will inevitably die. Think of the person craving for wealth, but lacks discipline. He tries foolish scheme after another, trying to find the route to quick, easy wealth. Each scheme leads him further into debt until the day of reckoning comes. Think of the individual lost in his daydreams which prevent him from applying himself to his work. His very desire keeps him from achieving his goal.
That is why the sluggard is contrasted with the righteous, rather than merely the industrious. The righteous desires the right things. He desires to please his Lord. He wants to be like Jesus. He does not curb his cravings so much as he craves good things such as doing good and expressing the love of his Savior. Thus he gives and does not hold back; and thus he receives all the more from his Lord. The desire of the righteous strengthens him rather than weakens. As he blesses, he is blessed.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org