The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
Passages of scripture like this pose one of the greatest challenges for risk averse people. Many of us think we are wise for avoiding risk. And indeed, Proverbs itself says that the wise hides himself when there is obvious danger (22:3)*. This piece of good advice, as with all wise practices, can become a shield from personal responsibility (see Matthew 6 for Jesus’ discussion of this fact with regards to prayer, fasting, and even alms).
Often in life, we who are risk averse take the slothful route and claim that the time isn’t right for action because things aren’t perfect. My karate instructor said that the most common excuse he received from people skipping karate after a vacation was “I need to get back into shape first.” Some people won’t go to church because “I need to get right with the Lord first.” If you’re super risk averse then you’re probably waiting for circumstances to be exactly right, but you’ll actually be in the process of waiting when good circumstance pass you by. Check this actual sloth out:
I suppose he could have died crossing the road, but there is simply no such thing as a “perfect time” for a sloth to cross a road because it’s just gonna take him an hour to do it and during that time a car is gonna get him. No, I don’t know why he’s crossing the road; maybe he’s got a lady friend. Maybe he’s rescuing other sloths from a sloth villian. But the fact remains that the circumstances for good action would have passed him by if he’d waited too long to cross the road.
*The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
(Proverbs 22:3) This verse is important for people who’ve ever said YOLO.