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A Lesson From Our Garden:

Slugs & "Sluggards"

Even though we live in the city, we have a garden. It's not too big - just a few extra fresh vegetables. But it seems that every year or so, we have to compete for who is going to get the vegetables first: us, or the slugs.

Now slugs are slimy little creatures that move very slo-o-owly across the garden, leaving a slime path wherever they go. They look something like snails, but without a shell. They may be interesting in their own little way (especially to a person who likes biology), but for most people, they are just gross, disgusting slime creatures.

It is the slug's slowness that gives them a connection to the Bible. In many translations of the Bible, one of the words used to describe a lazy person is "sluggard." (Other translations may use words such as, "lazy" or "slothful," or other words which have a similar meaning.)

How bad is laziness? How bad is being a sluggard? The book of Proverbs tells us that a lazy person is as bad as someone who goes around destroying things (Proverbs 18:9). You see, it is not only sin when you do bad things, but it is also sin when you don't do good things (James 4:17). In a New Testament parable, Jesus describes a lazy person as a wicked person (Matthew 25:26).

A sluggard always seems to have an excuse for not doing things. And if he can't find an excuse, he will invent one. "I might get run over by a car! I might be hit by a meteor, if I step outside!" (Compare to Proverbs 22:13) He would rather stay in bed all day (Proverbs 26:14) - or be a "couch potato" in front of a television. If he could, he'd be too lazy to even feed himself! (Proverbs 26:15) He thinks he is so wise (Proverbs 26:16), yet even ants are wiser - and could teach him, if he would just pay attention! (Proverbs 6:6+)

Because he is so lazy, his desires are never satisfied, and he doesn't even seem to know why! Yet the reason is quite simple: he doesn't reap the benefits of hard work just because he isn't willing to do the work! (Proverbs 20:4)

So what good is a sluggard? Not much. But there is one thing that the rest of us can learn from him: We can observe what we are not to be like (Proverbs 24:30-34). We need to remember that God made slugs to be slow, but he did not make people to act like "sluggards."

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Dennis Hinks © 1999