What the sluggard desires will kill him,
for his hands refuse to work.
All day long he craves greedily,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
One of my favorite episode of Friends was when Joey & Chandler got the new Barca Loungers. They decided that they were just going to live in the Barca Loungers for a while, watch TV and eat Cheetos. There is one point in the episode where Chandler looks over at Joey and says, “You’ve got a Cheeto on your face man.” So, Joey feels around on his face until he finds the Cheeto, pulls it off and eats it. Then, at the end of the episode, while they’re still sitting in the chairs they hear the fire alarm start to go off. Chandler leans over and feels the floor. He says, “that’s not warm yet, we’ve still got time.” To which Joey says, “Cool.”
What does the sluggard desire? Well, he wants a handout. He wants everything to be given to him. And he doesn’t want to have to work for it. He refuses to work, but his cravings for stuff don’t go away. He wants the stuff without working for it. All day long, he craves the stuff.
Just like Joey & Chandler, the sluggard doesn’t want to get up. The sluggard doesn’t want to get out of the Barca Lounger to do anything. The sluggard sits, and puts everything within arms reach and wants everyone to bring to them the Cheetos & Beer.
“But the righteous person gives and does not hold back.” Of course this could mean that the righteous person gives to people like the sluggard without holding back. Or it could just mean that the righteous person gives to those who need it without holding back, but I don’t think that’s it. I think what this verse is getting at is, the righteous person (who is diligent) doesn’t go without because he works. The righteous person has plenty because he works hard for it. The righteous person can give without holding back because they have worked hard to have enough and then some. That’s what the righteous do compared to the sluggard.
The righteous person has plenty because of the kind of life they live. The righteous can give because they have worked hard to have more than enough. They don’t sit in Barca Loungers with with Cheetos on their faces.
Are you the kind of person that likes to give? Or are you the kind of person that likes to get? Are you willing to work to get, or do you expect someone else to work to give to you?