Soon Korean evangelists themselves were drawing crowds every bit as large as Graham's, and Korean churches were sending out more missionaries than any nation except the United States. Traveling the world helped convince Graham that an evangelist has a broader set of responsibilities than merely preaching. In he visited Northern Ireland in a noteworthy attempt to reduce hostilities there.
The next year he visited South Africa when the apartheid government finally agreed to his long-standing demand that all meetings be completely integrated. The , in Durban and Johannesburg who heard the evangelist declare that apartheid was doomed were the largest interracial gatherings the nation had ever seen. A famine in nearby West Africa led the BGEA to adopt disaster relief as a permanent part of its mission, and the pre-crusade prayer meetings spawned an interracial women's prayer movement that had , members within five years.
Traveling the world also damped down Graham's youthful anti-communism. For five years Haraszti pushed and pulled his contacts in Hungary, and at the last minute Graham pulled some strings in the Carter White House. The visit was seen as a success by everyone concerned—Graham, the Hungarian government, leaders of the Catholic, Reformed, and Free Churches, and even Jewish leaders.
Haraszti parlayed this success into an invitation to visit heavily Roman Catholic Poland the next year, a successful tour that also smoothed interfaith relations there. As early as Graham had spoken out against the nuclear arms race, but on this trip, a visit to Auschwitz affected him so deeply that he began to make world peace a frequent theme in public talks.
This, in turn, opened the door to the Soviet Union, which after much negotiation invited Graham to attend a pro-Soviet peace conference in After an initial go-ahead from the Reagan White House, Graham indicated he would accept the invitation, only to come under strong pressure from the State Department, other evangelicals, and his own organization to decline it.
He went anyway, but at times must have wondered at the wisdom of his decision. But the Soviet government came away from Graham's visit with new respect for his diplomatic skills, and this opened the door to visits to East Germany and Czechoslovakia. After that came a very successful preaching tour of the USSR, and then a remarkable visit to repressive Romania, where over , people poured into the streets.
Graham used every trip to arrange private visits with government officials, which he used both to present the gospel and to press them to ease religious restrictions in their countries. His team also used these visits to strengthen the churches and ease tensions between them. The extent of Graham's influence is impossible to measure, but it is a fact that in the s religious restrictions behind the Iron Curtain eased while the churches grew stronger. This put them in position to shelter and nurture the pro-democracy movements that helped bring down the Communist regimes.
There's no doubt that those regimes thought they could exploit Graham to bolster their image. He actually is the head of the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, the Protestants—everybody—in a spiritual way … because he is above these religious strifes. By the s, Graham possessed tremendous international prestige, and his institutional location in an independent parachurch organization made it easy for him to work with Christians from all denominations. His first attempt to pull together a worldwide evangelical movement was the Berlin Congress on Evangelism, which he hoped would pull together an ecumenical movement along lines envisioned by Dwight Moody.
Henry led the 1, Berlin delegates—only from the US—in a day effort to work out a global theology of evangelism. So in the years following, the BGEA organized and financed conferences in those regions, as well as in Europe and North America, making sure that each conference had leadership drawn from its region. The success of these conferences led Graham to begin planning for a major international conference to work out worldwide strategies for evangelization. That planning bore fruit in , when some 2, evangelicals—half from outside Europe and North America, more than half under age 45—gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Lausanne gave a tremendous boost to evangelical foreign missions. Delegates learned from Fuller Seminary's Donald McGavran and Ralph Winter that nearly 2 billion of the world's people were unreached by the gospel. Since they had no form of indigenous Christianity in their midst, renewed efforts at cross-cultural missionary work were absolutely essential. The result was unprecedented contact and collaboration between evangelicals across national and denominational lines, especially in the non-Western world. Despite this quantum leap forward in global evangelical cooperation, Graham wasn't finished.
The group really on his heart was those who shared his calling as itinerant evangelists. So in the BGEA brought nearly 4, of them to Amsterdam for nine days, almost entirely at its own expense.
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They came from nations, 70 percent from non-Western ones. Only 40 percent had any formal training, and only 10 percent had ever before attended a conference. Plenary sessions and some workshops focused on the priority of proclaiming the gospel, and on practical strategies—how to gather a crowd, keep their attention, preach a message in a few minutes, and get local churches to help with preparation and follow-up. The conference was so well-received that Graham's organization immediately started preparing a sequel in , which drew over 8, attendees from nations.
The Amsterdam conferences gave the BGEA a contact list of 12, evangelists all over the world, which it then tapped to organize a series of satellite crusades between and The first three targeted Africa, Asia, and Latin America, respectively; the final two reached 1, and 3, locations around the world—the latter requiring translation into different languages. And still there were evangelists from all over the world who pleaded for a reprise of the Amsterdam conferences.
So in the BGEA, again at its own expense, brought 10, conferees from countries. Graham himself was not healthy enough to attend, and though the delegates wanted to see him, his absence probably had little effect on the impact of the conference. Amsterdam and the satellite crusades may have been Billy Graham's finest moments. Many of the characteristic elements of his early years were absent—calls to save America, striving to make evangelicalism respectable, hobnobbing with celebrities, audiences of the middle class.
Amsterdam was evangelism purified. Graham and his organization poured themselves out for the entire world, encouraging and empowering men and women, great and small, who shared Graham's burden to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
William Martin observed that the forces gathered and unleashed at the Berlin, Lausanne, and Amsterdam meetings constitute a third worldwide ecumenical movement, every bit as important as the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church. The amazing thing about the evangelical movement is that it is sustained not by a single organizational entity, but by multiple parachurch organizations, independent of each other but dreaming a common dream. Graham's genius was his ability to inspire people not to follow him, but to strike out on their own, following Jesus by proclaiming the gospel in their own way; and then to call them together, to inspire and equip thousands more to do the same thing.
We may never see his like again. And he and Moody, whom Graham was sure he'd meet in heaven, can stand together and look on in wonder at what God hath wrought. Michael S. Hamilton, vice president for programs and special initiatives at the Issachar Fund, is currently working on the book Calvin College and the Revival of Christian Learning in America Eerdmans, forthcoming. I f you go to Charlotte, North Carolina, you will find that the farmland where Billy Graham grew up has been transformed. The rolling fields of the earlyth-century agricultural South have morphed into the strip malls, office buildings, and subdivisions of the New South.
But Charlotte of , the year of Graham's birth, was a sleepier town. Its first streetcars, creating new suburban residences, had just been built, and it wasn't until Billy was three years old that one of the nation's first radio stations graced Charlotte's airwaves. A year later, Efird's Department Store, which described itself as "the only store south of Philadelphia with escalators," opened.
It was in this Charlotte—straddling rural and urban, and experiencing the first pangs of transition into the world-class city people know today—that Graham was born. Frank and Morrow Graham built, and reared their four children on, a thriving dairy farm. The children grew up in a colonial-style house with indoor plumbing.
The family was close-knit. Indeed, Billy and two younger siblings, Catherine and Melvin, shared a bedroom until Catherine was Jean Graham Ford—the youngest Graham sibling, born almost 14 years after Billy and his only surviving sibling today—recalls the special bond shared by Billy and his mother. Billy was always doing little things to please her, like going out into the fields and bringing her wildflowers.
Jean also recalls that young Billy loved Morrow's cooking and had a seemingly insatiable appetite: "When you walked in the back door during the spring and summer months, Mother would always have tomatoes on the shelf in the back porch. He would pick up the tomato and eat it just like he would an apple. She would fix it by the quart, and he would drink it down.
The Graham children's early years were quiet but full. Morrow Graham recalled it as "just a quiet country life. The story of Billy Graham's conversion is well known. In the fall of , Mordecai Ham, a Kentucky-born Baptist revivalist, came to Charlotte and preached a powerful sermon. The revival stretched over weeks, and for the first week or so, the Grahams didn't attend.
Billy was persuaded to check out Ham by Albert McKain, one of his father's most trusted employees. There, in response to Ham's powerful teachings about sin, Billy famously made a decision for Christ. Later that night, standing in the Grahams' breakfast room with fixings for a sandwich, Billy shared his experience with his family: Putting down his sandwich, he turned to Morrow and said, "Oh, Mother, I've been saved tonight. Doubtless, Billy's sense that stirring preaching could inspire a dramatic personal commitment to Christ inspired his own lifelong ministry.
And yet it is worth remembering that, as decisive as this experience was, it wasn't the beginning of Graham's Christian life. To the contrary, by the time Graham found his way to Ham's revival, he had already experienced nearly two decades of powerful formation in his local Presbyterian church and at home.
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Both of Graham's parents were raised in the Presbyterian Church, although Morrow was more active than her husband before they married. As children, Jean recalls, the Graham family was at church every time the doors opened, and prayer was part of their daily life. They prayed together and read Scripture together—even on their honeymoon they knelt together. Throughout Billy's childhood, the family had devotions, usually at night, in which Frank or Morrow would read a Bible passage and then family members would take turns praying.
Sabbath was a special day in the Graham household. Morrow cooked all of Sunday's food on Saturday so that no more work than necessary cows do always have to be milked would be undertaken on Sunday. This was the strong foundation on which Billy's decisive moment at the Ham revival was built. But Billy's early Christian formation was not the only aspect of his life in Charlotte that made an impact. His experiences at various schools would shape his intellectual life, and his understanding of Christian institutions, for decades.
Scholarship was not Billy's great strength; indeed, at first it was not clear to anyone that he would graduate from high school. His sister Jean recalls the day his homeroom teacher came to the house and warned Morrow that her eldest son wouldn't pass his senior year. He graduated from Sharon High School in His lackadaisical attitude toward schoolwork may have been more of a comment on his desire to follow his own intellectual interests than anything else. He loved to read and read what he wanted to, even if it meant letting some of his assignments fall by the wayside.
Jean remembers Billy often sitting cross-legged in a chair, "biting his fingernails and reading, letting the rest of the world go by. That Morrow Graham's children would attend college was a given, but before matriculating came Billy's storied stint as a Fuller brush salesman. He surprised his friends—who thought he was not the most hardworking person on the planet, and that he would be a flop—by selling brushes throughout the Carolinas. Is it any coincidence that America's most famous and successful proponent of the gospel had his first career success persuading people that they needed a Fuller brush?
Then came college. Where should a lanky farmer's son from North Carolina study? Morrow had her heart set on her children attending Wheaton, but Bob Jones College then located in Cleveland, Tennessee came to seem a better option because it was close to home and less pricey. Yet Billy struggled at Bob Jones from the moment he arrived. As he recalled in his memoir, Just As I Am , students' social life and intellectual life were strictly regulated; students' mail was even checked to make sure nothing untoward got through the postal service.
Perhaps foreshadowing the showdown he and Jones would have years later, Billy chafed against the regulations. Indeed, Billy and his friend Wendell Phillips both broke enough rules to rack up about demerits—one more, and they'd be out. His schoolwork suffered, as did his health and, not surprisingly, his spiritual life.
So in , Billy transferred to Florida Bible Institute, which he found much more congenial. There, he learned a framework for thinking about critical issues that would stay with him for life: "We were encouraged to think things through for ourselves, but always with the unique authority of Scripture as our guide. It was also in Florida that Billy started preaching. Their hosts invited Minder to preach that evening at a small Baptist church. Minder, perhaps determined to get his young friend into the pulpit but perhaps unable to imagine the awesome ministry that would result , declined the invitation, saying that Billy would be happy to take the service.
What could Billy do but agree? So that evening, in a small room where a potbellied stove warded off the chill, Billy stood up before a small group of Baptist preachers and recited not one but four sermons he had memorized from a Moody Press book. This was, Billy later recalled, an "awkward debut," to say the least.
Minder might have thought he saw in me was Raw, with a capital R. That night in Palatka was, of course, just the beginning. Before long, the rough edges of Billy's earliest sermons were burnished through prayer and practice, and he grew from a tyro into a masterful preacher. The seeds of his phenomenal work for Christ were clearly evident in his early years. His love of reading and his willingness to think about challenging issues, always in a biblical framework, would find new direction when he finally matriculated at Wheaton.
And his understanding that powerful preaching could help lead even an ordinary North Carolina farm boy to make a decision for Christ would yield copious fruit in decades of evangelism around the world. Lauren F. Winner is associate professor of Christian spirituality at Duke Divinity School and author most recently of Wearing God. B illy Graham had a life-long influence on me as a person and as a pastor.
It began in my childhood with my grandmother. My grandmother told me, "I pray for two people every day. I pray for Billy Graham, and I pray for you. She always wanted me to be a pastor. Today, I have no doubt that her prayers and the fact that Billy Graham was in our home every month with Decision magazine and every week on the radio did much to influence the direction my life took.
As I grew older, I began to understand Graham's commitment to keeping his character clean. As a young pastor, I understood why he and his staff made the "Modesto Manifesto," a covenant to ensure the integrity of his ministry. Later, when I started Saddleback Church, our staff made similar covenants—the Saddleback Staff Ten Commandments—based on the same idea. The goal in everything we do at Saddleback is to make it easier for us to bring people to Jesus. You build bridges of friendship from your heart to theirs so Jesus Christ can cross that bridge into their life. Reaching out to those outside of evangelical bounds is a key lesson Graham taught me.
Graham realized that the whole gospel must be taught. In so many ways, he was a pioneer. Long before churches were ready for racial integration, he integrated his crusades. That's broadening the agenda. The great evil of that generation was segregation. He took it on. He was primarily an evangelist, but he used his enormous influence to say the church has to care about issues other than evangelism.
Like Graham, we believe strongly in the primacy of evangelism. But also like him, we're just foolish enough to take on issues that show Christian love to a hurting and confused world. I learned from Graham to never lose your single focus. His focus was always on bringing people to Christ.
There were about chairs, packed with VIPs. President Clinton and leaders of the House and Senate addressed the crowd, honoring Graham's life and achievements. What do you think Graham did when it came time for him to get up to speak? He spent maybe three minutes acknowledging the honor and how little he deserved it. Then he said, "Let me tell you about Jesus. He never gave up looking for new ways to share the gospel. Somebody quoted Graham as saying, "It's not how many people can I get into the stadium but how many people can I get the word out to.
In the early s, Saddleback was the first church to use a fax machine for evangelism. I came up with a thing called "the fax of life. Graham learned of what we were doing and wrote me a note saying, "Using the fax machine to get the word out is a great idea. Saddleback was the first church on the internet. That was in , before Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Safari. I learned from Graham to build your ministry on a team. Graham knew this, and he built a core team that was with him 50 years. Everybody on the team brought strengths to the table. When you build an effective team, you hire people who compensate for your weaknesses and who mobilize or reinforce your strengths, because nobody can be good at everything.
Part of the brilliance of Graham was that he understood how to draw the net. A lot of great preachers don't. They preach really good sermons, but they don't know how to call for commitment. It takes courage to stand up there and say, "Will you do this? I watched Graham do this for years.
The greatest influence the man had on me came not from what he taught, but simply from who he was. Whenever anybody says, "Who's going to replace Graham? There will never be another Billy Graham. Acts , my life verse, is an appropriate passage to describe him. It says, "Now when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep. That says you did the timeless in a timely way.
You contended for that which never changes in a society, in a world, in a culture that's constantly changing. Graham served God's purpose in his generation, and now that he has fulfilled that purpose, he is gone. This man's integrity and lifestyle were so right and his heart was so God-directed that it came through in his words and presence. With God, the direction of your heart is even more important than your sins.
With David, God overlooked all the stupid things David did because he had a heart after God. He wanted to do the right thing. Graham wanted to do the right thing. I want to do the right thing; I don't always do it but I want to do the right thing. That direction of your heart is more important than being perfect.
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Billy Graham debuted on a national stage during his Los Angeles Crusade in fall Just 30 years old, Graham met his audience with a fiery call for repentance from sin, boldly announcing on the opening night that "this city of wickedness and sin" had a choice between revival and renewal—or judgment. At first, Los Angeles responded rather coolly to Graham's ire. Graham was no false advertiser. According to The Los Angeles Times , when the sawdust settled, some 6, souls had either "re-consecrated their lives" or converted to a life in Christ, "weeping forgiveness for their sins.
Along with the thousands who turned to Christ, Graham's life and evangelism were never the same after Los Angeles. Virtually overnight he went from a well-known minister within the evangelical subculture to a nationally recognized preacher. Amidst a deluge of media coverage, an editor at Life captured the transformation simply but presciently: "A New Evangelist Arises.
If the campaign marked the beginning of a shift in his preaching tone, the end came a decade later. Graham announced in a Christian Century article, "What Ten Years Have Taught Me," that he centered his message on the Cross and its dual revelation of the "sins of men" but also the "unwearying love of God. What about the intervening years caused this shift in emphasis?
In the space of a decade, Graham had become the most renowned evangelist in the world, magnifying a hundredfold the burden he felt after Los Angeles. With an audience numbering in the millions, Graham understood that his words had the potential to alienate as much as invite untold numbers around the globe. Accordingly, while the theme of repentance was as strong as ever, he curbed excessive references to the flames of hell. More importantly, Graham, as the title of his Century article suggested, adopted the posture of a student.
Lacking a formal theological education, he hungrily studied the Bible and theology and realized more fully that the gospel really was good news to those "lost and confused and frustrated about purpose and meaning in life. His wide travels schooled him in the vast diversity of "the family of God" and further convinced him of the need for Christians of all stripes to "love one another. Graham's greater assurances about the love of God transformed his evangelism in his attitude toward sin, social crises, and ecumenism.
With the love of God at the center of his message, Graham spoke more often of sin as the condition of all humanity, as opposed to sin as particular transgressions of one kind or another. This distinction crystallized for him as he recognized that God's loving sacrifice of Jesus at the Cross was meant to "deal with sin and not just individual sins. Make no mistake, Graham never wavered in his primary mission to bring individuals to Christ. But he worried less about—as he preached in —"the sins of the Sunset Strip," and more about social problems, including racism, AIDS, and poverty.
Finally, Graham's ecumenical spirit deepened and broadened. He refused to speculate about the fate of non-Christians, and offered that "the love of God is absolute The legacies of Graham's ministry are many, but perhaps none is greater than its demonstration that it is not the flames of hell but the triumphant love of God that defines and emboldens a Christian life.
This article originally appeared in the February 2, , issue of Christianity Today. Billy Graham's ministry to the big cities, widened in its outreach by radio and television, is one of the outstanding contributions to the resurgence of evangelical Christianity in our generation. We have applied it too often where it does not belong. Tolerance, in one sense, implies the compromise of one's convictions, a yielding of ground upon important issues.
Hence, over-tolerance in moral issues has made us soft, flabby and devoid of conviction. We have become tolerant about divorce; we have become tolerant about the use of alcohol; we have become tolerant about delinquency; we have become tolerant about wickedness in high places; we have become tolerant about immorality; we have become tolerant about crime and we have become tolerant about godlessness.
We have become tolerant of unbelief. In a book recently published on what prominent people believe, 60 out of did not even mention God, and only 11 out of mentioned Jesus. There was a manifest tolerance toward soft character and a broadmindedness about morals, characteristic of our day. We have been sapped of conviction, drained of our beliefs and bereft of our faith.
The sciences, however, call for narrow-mindedness. There is no room for broad-mindedness in the laboratory. Water boils at degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. It is never degrees nor degrees—but always Water freezes at 32 degrees—not at 23 or Objects heavier than air are always attracted to the center of the earth.
They always go down—never up. I know this is very narrow, but the law of gravity decrees it so, and science is narrow. Take mathematics. The sum of two plus two is four—not three-and-a-half. That seems very narrow, but arithmetic is not broad. Neither is geometry. It says that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.
That seems very dogmatic and narrow, but geometry is intolerant. A compass will always point to the magnetic north. He plainly pointed out that there are two roads in life. One is broad—lacking in faith, convictions, and morals. It is the easy, popular, careless way. It is the way of the crowd, the way of the majority, the way of the world. His was the intolerance of a pilot who maneuvers his plane through the storm, realizing that a single error, just one flash of broad-mindedness, might bring disaster to all those passengers on the plane.
Once while flying from Korea to Japan, we ran through a rough snowstorm; and when we arrived over the airport in Tokyo, the ceiling and visibility were almost zero. The pilot had to make an instrument landing. On the heels of this new understanding came others.
To Luther the church was no longer the institution defined by apostolic succession; instead it was the community of those who had been given faith. Salvation came not by the sacraments as such but by faith. The idea that human beings had a spark of goodness enough to seek out God was not a foundation of theology but was taught only by "fools. Faith no longer consisted of assenting to the church's teachings but of trusting the promises of God and the merits of Christ.
It wasn't long before the revolution in Luther's heart and mind played itself out in all of Europe. It started on All Saints' Eve, , when Luther publicly objected to the way preacher Johann Tetzel was selling indulgences. These were documents prepared by the church and bought by individuals either for themselves or on behalf of the dead that would release them from punishment due to their sins. As Tetzel preached, "Once the coin into the coffer clings, a soul from purgatory heavenward springs! Luther questioned the church's trafficking in indulgences and called for a public debate of 95 theses he had written.
Instead, his 95 Theses spread across Germany as a call to reform, and the issue quickly became not indulgences but the authority of the church: Did the pope have the right to issue indulgences? Events quickly accelerated. At a public debate in Leipzig in , when Luther declared that "a simple layman armed with the Scriptures" was superior to both pope and councils without them, he was threatened with excommunication. In the first, he argued that all Christians were priests, and he urged rulers to take up the cause of church reform.
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In the second, he reduced the seven sacraments to two baptism and the Lord's Supper. In the third, he told Christians they were free from the law especially church laws but bound in love to their neighbors. Luther arrived prepared for another debate; he quickly discovered it was a trial at which he was asked to recant his views. Luther replied, "Unless I can be instructed and convinced with evidence from the Holy Scriptures or with open, clear, and distinct grounds of reasoning I can do no other. God help me! By the time an imperial edict calling Luther "a convicted heretic"was issued, he had escaped to Wartburg Castle, where he hid for ten months.
In early spring of , he was able to return to Wittenberg to lead, with the help of men like Philip Melanchthon, the fledgling reform movement. Over the next years, Luther entered into more disputes, many of which divided friends and enemies. When unrest resulted in the Peasants' War of —, he condemned the peasants and exhorted the princes to crush the revolt. He married a runaway nun, Katharina von Bora, which scandalized many.
For Luther, the shock was waking up in the morning with "pigtails on the pillow next to me. He mocked fellow reformers, especially Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli, and used vulgar language in doing so. We are told in the Proverbs that we should seek after wisdom as though it were silver or gold or previous jewels. I encourage you this morning to stop vegging out, and seek after the joy of learning! Spiritual Laziness. For the Christian, this is probably the worse form of laziness of all. We find it so hard to pray!
Because it feels like work Col. We are lazy! We have little time to help others in need. This is a problem for all of us — retired people too. My friends, where do you find that in the Bible?! Yes, you may have to slow down because of the frailty of your body, but we are never to retire. Every single one of us, no matter how old we are, should be active, doing whatever we can to serve others and God. If you only have a heart to want to do something productive and useful, you can! You have time to play your video games and read your novels. Then you have time to write prisoners encouraging letters.
You have time to cook up a meal for someone in the church who is sick. This is an ethical problem, like drinking, or sex, or overspending. Laziness causes us to misuse the talents and time God has given us. You do realize, that you are not your own, and that you have been bought with a price? If you do, you know that your time is not your own to do with whatever your flesh wants. Your mind is not your own to do or not do whatever you want. I am going to go to the book of Proverbs, and show you want it says about the sluggard.
A sluggard is a habitually lazy person. So, what does the book of Proverbs say about the sluggard. Well, it reveals 7 results of laziness. Laziness Destroys Self-Motivation. One of the great qualities I always look for when hiring someone for my window cleaning company is someone who is self-motivated.
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It is so hard to find today! What are those ants doing? They are busy, busy busy! They are all scurrying around, carrying things in and out. And these ants have no Chief, Officer, or Ruler cracking the whip and shouting orders. Their nature is to be diligent. They are self-motivated. It comes from within them. We should learn a lesson from the ants. Do you need someone pushing or prodding you in order for you to work and be productive? If so, it is a sign of laziness. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.
He lies down and sleeps and folds his hands. The result? Instead of storing up food and money and resources for the future, he becomes poor and needy. Are you poor and needy today? It may be because you have been lazy in the past. Laziness Brings Unhappiness. His desire for ease and pleasure and amusement will put him to death. The path of the upright is as a highway.
It is broad and spacious and easy to walk that path.
But the path of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns. In other words, it is difficult, nigh to impossible to get along that path. There is no way to get through that hedge of thorns. The thorns will cut and scrape and shred you. It leaves him miserable, unhappy, restless and dissatisfied. On the contrary, the diligent person experiences happiness, and satisfaction in his work. Parents, unless you teach your children to work, they will grow up lazy and unhappy.
Laziness Brings Poverty. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest, then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man. I am not saying that every poor person is that way because they are lazy. There are many people who are hard workers, but have come to poverty because of other reasons. But this passage is telling us that a lazy person is very likely to become poor in the future. Maybe not at the beginning. But over many years, laziness will produce poverty.
If you want to be poor, and never be able to provide your own needs or give to help others, go ahead and lead a lazy life.
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