Proverbs 18:9 One who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys.
As I walk the path of wisdom I find this verse very troubling and confusing. Why is someone who is slack or weak in work habits a “brother” to him who destroys? The slacker is still working right? Just not as hard as before. A destroyer is doing the opposite. I don’t get it.
Maybe I don’t understand the word “slack”? My understanding was that “slack” means to slow down a little. We all will slow down in our work once and a while. We can’t all work at 100% all day long – can we? I know at the end of my day my energy levels are often so low I get very little done.
So I turn to the dictionary for some help. Here are some dictionary definitions of “slack”:
– Lacking in activity
– Lacking in diligence
– Lacking in due care or concern
– Flowing or blowing with little speed
So if your car is performing with slackness it’s running with little activity or with little speed. In a vehicle this certainly would be useless. It is especially useless, if you must get to work on time.
So if we work with slackness we are not dependable in God’s eyes. We are sluggish, lacking in diligence, lacking in concern and flowing with little speed. Put enough employees like this together and it will destroy any business.
So ordinarily one can slide with some slack work habits, but to work by the principles in Proverbs – Our Path to Wisdom – we are playing on a whole new level. No room for slackness, no letting up, no slowing down, we must be moving forward every hour of every day.
Jump to the Proverbs 31 woman for example. She “gets up while it is still dark . . . and her lamp does not go out at night.” Wow – that’s a work ethic. If we intend to work by the standards set down in Proverbs we will soon find ourselves among the best in whatever we choose to do. Go for it!