Proverbs 12:27 (ESV) Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
There are essentially two possibilities for interpreting the first part of this saying:
- A slothful man will have no game to roast because he’s lazy.
- A slothful man will not roast the game he has, because he’s lazy.
Because of the nature of the Proverbs, it is possible that both are implied, but I’m more interesting in the second. I think that this is a good heuristic for determining whether or not we’re slothful and whether or not we should buy something new. For instance, if I have a nice set of digital Bible commentaries that I never use, is it wise for me to buy new ones just because they’re on sale? The answer must be, “No.” The evidence is that I’m the type of guy who doesn’t roast his game despite having it in the freezer.
This might apply to gym memberships, exercise equipment, a laptop, a writing desk, tools, hobby equipment, and so-on. Why buy an expensive study Bible if you never read the Bible you have? Similarly, why go “church shopping” if you don’t know the names of anybody at the church you already attend?
The contrast in the Proverb is with somebody who becomes rich through diligence, but I want to entertain the opposite possibility of the first clause. What if one learns to enjoy the nice things already possessed before moving on to more things? Is it possible that the great discontentment many experience is precisely due to a lack of diligence with the sliver of the world under their care?