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PROVERBS: GPS to a Better Life
Blog Sub-Series 4#b: Proverbs – Its Rhetorical Devices
Blog 4b of Series
“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.”
– Christopher Parker
To continue from the previous blog, the Book of Proverbs is a fascinating collection of wise sayings, making use of metaphors that have been passed down through the ages. Proverbs 22:13 is another example of a metaphor used to convey an important message about the choices we make in life. The proverb reads, “The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!’” The metaphor is used to describe the procrastination and excuses of a habitually lazy person.
The Passion Translation (TPT) renders the above verse more vividly, “A slacker always has an excuse for not working – like ‘I can’t go to work. There’s a lion outside! And murderers too!’” This metaphor of a sluggard or slacker is a powerful reminder of the dangers of procrastination. It is easy to become complacent and avoid doing things we need to do, whether it is at work, at home, or in our personal lives. We can always find excuses not to take action; especially when our past efforts were futile. Past disappointments have a way of paralyzing us, and before we know it, we are saying words similar to the slacker in Proverb 22:23. Instead of saying there’s a lion outside, we’ll say something to this effect, “What’s the point?” Or “Why try? It’s not going to work anyway!” Or maybe you’ve said, “I just can’t seem to get ahead in life – I quit!”
Oh, you may protest that feeling defeated doesn’t make a person a sluggard. I agree. Yet, using past defeats and disappointments as an excuse for inaction is a slippery slope into the murky waters of apathy. (Hmm, just wondering if you noticed my use of metaphors.) Once in the dark gloomy waters of dejection, most people quit trying and just sit and wait for their lives to end. The consequences of inaction can be severe: Missed opportunities, lost relationships, and a general lack of progress in one’s life.
· Lack of motivation is essentially a lack of passion – no desire or willingness to work.
· Laziness is a preference – the desire and enjoyment of doing nothing.
· Depression is a mental illness – (Proverbs 22:13 does not apply!)
Depression is a serious mental disorder,
If you suffer from bouts of depression,
Please seek professional help!
In conclusion, cultivating the habit of taking action, even in difficult or uncomfortable situations, is crucial to avoiding the tendency to become a slacker. It is important to remember that there is no shame in seeking help if you are unsure about how to start making positive changes in your life. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” You and I can be the positive change by embracing the wisdom of God.
In next week’s blog post, we’ll discuss yet another metaphor with a happier message.
Questions for discussion:
1) Depression, lack of motivation, and laziness are completely different from each other: do you know what the differences are?
2) If yes, to Question #1, then comment on what are the differences.
3) If no, to Question #1, then follow this link to learn more about the differences: https://withchelle.com/blog/2020/9/21/the-difference-between-laziness-no-motivation-and-depression
4) After visiting the above link, what are your thoughts?
Loretta Huggins, born and raised in San Francisco, CA, has served in the ministry with her husband, Larry Huggins since 1989: administrator, hostess, event planner, and teacher. She has traveled to eighteen countries. She is the co-founder and co-pastor of ZChurch.