It is better to wear out one’s shoes than one’s sheets.
As you look at this proverb I encourage to consider the question, “How does one wear out one’s shoes or sheets?” We all understand things wear out from regular to excessive use. Understanding this leads us to the conclusion that one wears out their shoes while they are busy doing things (walking around in them) and one wears out their sheets by sleeping in them (the intended use for sheets). The clear warning from the proverb is it is better to be active, busy and productive than to spend our time lying around in bed accomplishing nothing.
Proverbs offers many descriptions of the “Lazy person”
1) The lazy person refuses to work: Prov 21:25 “25 The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor.”
2) The lazy person makes excuses: Prov 26:13 “13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!”
3) The lazy person is wise in his/her own eyes: Prov 26:16 “16 the lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly.”
Proverbs suggests the end reward for the “lazy person”
1) The lazy man will be put to forced labor: Prov 12:24 “24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.”
2) The lazy man will suffer and have nothing: Prov 20:4 “4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.”
3) The lazy man will desire but not have: Prov 13:4 “4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”
The New Testament clearly teaches we are not to be lazy but rather we are to work
1) Eph 2:10 “10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
2) Heb 6:11-12 “11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
3) Jam 2:18, 26 “18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works…26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Finally, the Bible clearly shows that we will be rewarded for our work/labor
1) Gal 6:9-10 ” 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
2) Col 3:23-24 “3 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
3) Heb 6:10 “10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of[a] love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Given the fact the road of laziness ends in pain and desire, and the road of good works and labor leads to rewards from God the Father, don’t you want to be sure you do not find yourself falling into a pattern of laziness rather than being busy doing good works.