The one who sleeps is either lazy or a procrastinator. (Lazy is more likely given the teachings of Proverbs.) But it doesn’t matter which, because the point is the same: be a participant rather than a spectator. Everyone has a role to play in life; everyone has their place in the scheme of things; everyone is a cog in one of the wheels of life.

This is how communities work. People participate, whether in education, child care, manufacturing, information systems, vision setting, decision making, farming, wholesale, or retail. In this perspective of “using an illustration to make a point,” communities function by those who do, and not by those who sit. It should be obvious, but some people try to get away with what they can.

The Bible never takes a positive view of being a slacker, a moocher, or being lazy. It’s all over the book of Proverbs, and also in Eph. 4.28: Do something useful with yourself so you can contribute rather than freeload.
We all know the familiar adages, and they fit here. You are either a building block or a stumbling block. I’ve heard the same thing in the saying, “You are either a missionary or a mission field.” Get on the train or get out of the way.

The same point comes later in the Bible. Paul is diligent to teach that we all together form the Body of Christ and each one of us is a part of it. We all have a manifestation of the Spirit, and each one of us has a role to fill and a duty to perform in the Kingdom. No one is exempt. There is every expectation that each one of us will be a participator, that we will be involved, and that we’ll put something into it to get something out of it.

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