(Pro 10:4 KJV) He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
We will be “poor” (7326) if we have a “slack hand" (negligent NASB) (7423b). We live in such an affluent society that we have redefined poor. The poor of our country live better than the middle class of most countries and better than the wealthy of some. We get intellectually lazy and refuse to admit that poor often means people who don’t have as much as they want.
We tend to forget that there are many reasons for poverty. Some are poor because of oppression or social abuse. Some are poor because of their personal limitations. These are facts. But some are poor because they are lazy or shiftless; in a word, “negligent” (7423b). We don’t like to admit this. We don’t like to mention this. It makes us seem judgmental. It is still true.
Many a man “works” (6213a) but does nothing. This might be the person who is looking for a job but not for work. This word seems to imply some kind of craftsmanship or creativity. It does not mean simple labor. You cannot produce something of value if you are negligent.
There is something here about the attitude with which a man works. Millions show up for work and spend the whole day on the job but accomplish little. Either they only work when watched or they are not concerned about the quality of their work. We all run into people like this in every store or government office we visit. This is totally contrary to the believer’s work ethic, or it should be.