Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Proberbs 18 - The Sloth

The sloth - the slowest mammal on the planet. He sleeps 15-20 hours per day. He doesn't move even when he's awake. They were created to live in the trees of the Central and South American rain forests. If found on land, they are subject to predators with little chance of escape. 

"He who is slothful in work
 Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer."
 ~ Proverbs 18:9 

I took immediate note when this Proverb spoke of a slothful person being a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

It reminded me of a need to eat, and it ties in to a lesson I've been trying to teach my children for awhile now. Proverbs 20:13 says, "Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread."

When we refuse to work for something, whether it's a meal, a home, or a new toy, we shouldn't expect to be handed those things. If my husband and I don't work to earn an income to provide for our household, poverty will come upon us quickly. And it should be no surprise to us...
Yet so many times we hear of people losing all they ever had, because they felt entitled to it and didn't care to put in the effort to keep it.

I don't want my children to grow up thinking they can behave like a sloth, sleeping all day, not moving when they are awake (can you "hear" the video game culture?), and falling prey to the enemy's schemes as a result of their slothfulness or my lack of parenting. 
I'm not here to be my child's friend. I'm here to train them up in the way they should go, so when they're old they won't depart from it. 

If they want to throw a temper tantrum when asked to do the dishes, because they're in the middle of the hardest level of the video game they're playing, I'm going in to remove the game system.
My eldest keeps asking for $1.25 to purchase a smoothie at lunchtime. I've told him for a month now to set aside some of his allowance if he wants those. He goes without, deeming toys more important. When he comes pouting about not being able to get a smoothie with his lunch account money, I remind him again. "Set aside your allowance money."

When they don't do those "jobs" they've been assigned, they don't get paid. And when they don't get paid, they learn the hard lesson in life that money doesn't grow on trees. Or in Mom's pocketbook. 
I learned to work hard and earn those things I needed in life. My parents trained me to work at the age of 14, when I ironed my dad's dress shirts and slacks. I hope to teach my children the same work ethic. God never promised us a life free of labor. On the contrary; He said we would be required to toil for our food. (See Genesis 3:17-19) 

The same applies to our spiritual lives. If we become slothful in our reading of the Word, our prayer life, and we lose our focus on the Lord, we open ourselves up wide to the enemy who preys on our emptiness. We should be as diligent in seeking the Lord as we are toiling for our physical food. 

Prayer for today: Lord, help us to be diligent in seeking You. Let us not become slothful in our pursuit of a relationship with You. Help us to recognize the hand of Your provision today both at our dinner tables and in our hearts as we near the celebration of our salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Photo Courtesy of Carlos F F Albuquerque
Sloth Info: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/three-toed-sloth/

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