The ‘sluggard’ in the book of Proverbs is, writes Derek Kidner, a figure of tragi-comedy, with animal laziness, Prov 26:14 (a bad habit solidifying into a trait) and preposterous excuses, 26:13; 22:13. He speaks of, and to, the lazy in any and every age:-
He will not begin things, Prov 6:9f. He is a procrastinator. His favourite word is, ‘later’.
He will not finish things, Prov 12:27; 19:24; 26:15.
He will not face things. He rationalises his own laziness, Prov 26:16. He take the easy, nonproductive, option, 20:4, which leads to him becoming dishonest, 15:19.
He craves success, but is dissatisfied, Prov 13:4; 21:25f. He is full of wishes, but does nothing to bring them to fulfilment.
He is helpless in the face of his tangled affairs, Prov 15:19, and useless to those who employ him, 10:26; 18:9.
He is shamed by the ant, Prov 6:6ff, who needs no overseer, and who delays present gratification in order to store for the future (this could be applied to saving, investing time in the family, study)..
He learns his lesson too late, Prov 6:11, and his life has become a wasteland, 24:30f.
‘The sluggard is no freak, but, as often as not, an ordinary man who has made too many excuses, too many refusals and too many postponements. It has all been as imperceptible, and as pleasant, as falling asleep.’
We might be industrious in our public lives, but sluggardly in our private lives.
See Kidner, Proverbs (TOTC), 42f.