(16) The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.
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Can a lazy person be proud? We have a saying: "Poor but humble." According to God's Word, all too frequently a reason that a person is poor is because he is proud. The truth is often just the opposite of the saying.
How do many wealthy people become so rich? It is because they are willing to take advice and apply it. They humbly listen to the counsel of those with experience, who are already successful, and in following that advice, they themselves become successful. Their humility leads them to seek counsel and follow the advice.
On the other hand, the poor are frequently poor because they either will not seek the advice, or if they do seek it, they find reasons not to apply it. God is referring to this inaction here. Laziness is a sign of pride.
We would not normally think a person who is out of a job and needs one desperately would do that. However, a lazy person thinks so much of himself that he believes that things should come to him without working. He thus justifies or excuses himself, saying:
"The conditions really are not quite right."
"If I am going to do that job, I first need a new car."
"That job is too far away."
"The pay is not enough for all that I would have to do."
"If I go there, I will have to move."
He is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who can render a sensible reason. At the root of his "wisdom" is pride.
— John W. Ritenbaugh