An evil spirit for his playmate!

(Charles Spurgeon, "Plain Advice for Plain People")

"The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes—than seven men who answer discreetly." Proverbs 26:16

Many have no better work—than killing time. Beware of 'the evil of doing nothing'. Idleness is the key of beggary—and the mother of all evil. It is through 'the door of sluggishness', that evil enters the heart!

Lazy people like the caterpillars on the cabbage, eating up the good things; or like the butterflies, showing themselves off but making no honey!

Every man ought to have patience and pity for poverty; but for laziness—a long whip would be better!

Everything in the world is of some use; but it would puzzle a philosopher, to tell the good of idleness! There is something to be said for moles, and rats and weasels—they are a pretty sight when nailed up on our old barn; but as for the sluggard—the only use for him is in the grave—to help to make the churchyard fat.

Laziness is bad—and altogether bad! Sift a sluggard grain by grain—and you will find him to be all chaff!

"As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes," so is the sluggard to every man who is spending his sweat to earn an honest living, while these lazy fellows let the grass grow up to their ankles, and stand cluttering the ground!

In idle men's imaginations, the devil hides away unseen, like the old serpent that he is. A man who wastes his time and his strength in sloth—offers himself to be a target for the devil, who is a wonderfully good rifleman, and will fill the idler with his shots! In other words, idle men tempt the devil to tempt them! He who plays when he should work—has an evil spirit for his playmate! A sluggard is fine 'raw material' for the devil—he can make anything he likes out of him! If the devil catches a man idling—he will set him to work, find him tools, and before long pay him wages!

Sure enough, our children have our evil nature in them, for you can see sloth growing in them like weeds in a garden! My advice to my boys has been, "Get out of the sluggard's way, or you may catch his disease—and never get rid of it!" I am always afraid of their learning the ways of the idle—and am very watchful to nip anything of the sort in the bud; for you know, that it is best to kill the lion, while it is still a cub! Bring them up to be 'bees', and they will not become 'drones'!

As to having lazy employees—I would prefer to drive a 'team of snails', or go out rabbit hunting with a dead hound! Why, you would sooner get blood out of a gatepost, or juice out of a rock—than work out of some of them! I wonder sometimes, that some of our employers keep so many cats which catch no mice! I would as soon throw my money in the fire—as pay some people for pretending to work.

Lazy people never put a single potato into the nation's pot—but they take a good many out! They eat all the bread and cheese—but never earn a bite of it! Yet Scripture gives us this rule, "If a man will not work—he shall not eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10