You know the verse from Proverbs, a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man… But did you know that it’s actually recorded twice in the book of Proverbs? The same exact verse is found in Proverbs 6:10-11 and Proverbs 24:33-34. I find it fascinating that Solomon would record it twice, but it makes sense why he would. If you read the verses around the phrase in both chapters, you’ll see that he’s emphasizing two different, but equally important issues: procrastination and laziness. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure you can relate when I say that sometimes I let procrastination get the best of me. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it sure is easy to spot, especially if the same task keeps ending up on my to do list time after time, after time. So back to sleep…why would Solomon make a direct reference to sleep? It’s because we’ve all been given the same amount of time every day. The farmer, doctor, student, CEO and musician all have the same amount of time each day: 24 hours. How they use that time will shape the degree of expertise in their field. If they want to sleep in everyday and take an afternoon nap, they have the right to do that. But, it will probably mean that the farmer won’t take advantage of the sunlight to tend to his crops. Or the student might not find enough time to finish a project if he chooses to nap each afternoon. So the bottom line to both of these verses is one thing: time. You can choose to spend your time sleeping or folding your hands and resting (yes, I’d compare this to sitting and watching TV) or you can take action, like Solomon suggests. Remember I said that Solomon included each phrase twice? He gives us actionable advice from these passages on how to conquer procrastination and laziness – here’s what we can take from these passages. Learning By Example from Proverbs 6:10-11 Just before Solomon quotes the phrase a little sleep, a little slumber, he shares his brief story of the ant . You know, the little ant that stored all year and gathered food so it would have food in the winter months. Sometimes it’s easiest to see how we can overcome a problem when the solution is given with an example. When it comes to procrastination, we can learn so much by watching the example of others. I’ve worked with many people in planning for retirement, and I’ve learned one valuable lesson from it: No matter how much you make, saving a little bit consistently will add up over time. Unfortunately the majority of people don’t save enough for retirement as it is. But when I do see someone who saves diligently even on a small income, I’m reminded of the ant we read about in Proverbs 6:10-11. Learning By Experience from Proverbs 24:33-34 Solomon shared a different story the second time he used the phrase a little sleep, a little slumber. He noticed that a vineyard was overgrown with weeds because the owner lacked judgment. My take on this verse is that the owner was lazy with his time and probably valued sleep and relaxation more than his work. The lesson learned from this story is the same: poverty and scarcity follow laziness. Laziness is a little more difficult to pinpoint because it’s so easy to justify sometimes, agree? I’m all for a time of recovery after a long day at work – that’s not laziness. Laziness is going to work the next day and deciding not to do much because you did a lot the day before. Laziness is looking at the stack of things you need to do and ignoring them because you’d rather flip on your TV show, or do something a little more fun. I’ve been there, and I don’t want to sound like I’m against a time of rest and relaxation – but there’s a time for work and a time for play. We all have different circumstances, so I don’t think it’s practical to suggest the same cookie cutter approach for everyone. In other words, I’m not going to suggest that everyone wake up at 5:00 each morning to work on a side business, or that you should stay up until 2:00 AM because sleeping isn’t profitable. It’s simply a challenge to be aware of how much time you’re spending when it comes to sleep/relaxation, and are you sacrificing productivity for it? Have you sacrificed a little sleep, slumber and folding of your hands to do something productive lately? Has sleep kept you from being productive in the past? Meet us in the comments! Image by EDHAR / Shutterstock Related Articles: Maintain your stuff 4 Tips For Broke College Students 3 Lessons We Can Learn from the Richest Man on Earth Financial lessons from Solomon What if your boss asks you to travel 6 days a week? Should You Get a Second Job to Pay Off Debt? Giving to the poor Tim is a personal finance writer at Faith and Finance a Christian financial help blog that provides financial insights for individuals, businesses, and churches. Outside of finance, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, playing the saxophone, reading economics books, and a good game of RISK or Catan. Find him on Twitter and Facebook . The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
Will Sleep Really Make You Poor?