Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The Boy Who Cried Wolf Revisited
Lying to others is certainly one of the morals of this story from Aesop's Fables, but I believe there is another pattern we can see in it as well. One of the serious pitfalls in our culture today comes when people do not stand on their own two feet and take responsibility for their lives. In the fable, the boy told a lie to get attention, but in real life, there are people who claim they have a great need so that others will pity them and provide for their comfort. If it stopped there, it would not be an abuse of the kindness of others. Often, however, these same folks ask over and over again for assistance. Eventually, people weary of always providing for them just as the villagers in the fable tired of the boy crying wolf. At some point, everyone needs to take responsibility for his own life. Lets look at a couple of key scripture verses that deal with this.
Proverbs has a good deal to say about the subject of being lazy and hating work. Prov. 21:25 reads: "The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work." In addition, the lazy person gives all kinds of excuses: "There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets" (Prov. 26:13). A lazy person also wastes time and energy: "He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great waster" (Prov. 18:9). The end result of someone who is slothful can be a sad one just as the boy who cried wolf too many times found out. Here is what the Bible says about that lazy person: "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor" (12:24); "A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing" (20:4); "The soul of the lazy man desires and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich" (13:4). To sum it all up, a lazy person will go into debt, eventually end in poverty and have nothing to show for his life. This is the very antithesis of what God calls us to be in Christ. Yet, there are people who call themselves Christians but do not attempt to serve the Lord by working to serve others and repay their debts. So if we meet someone who seems to be "crying wolf" by asking for help repeatedly without trying to change their circumstances, how do we help them?
Please share your thoughts and insights with me. I enjoy hearing encouragement from you and appreciate your visit.