Proverbs 22:13
The slothful man said, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.…

Few things are oftener on human lips than excuses. Men are continually excusing themselves from doing what they know in their hearts they ought to do. There is no sphere from which they are excluded, and there is hardly any evil to which they do not lead.

I. THE SPHERES IS WHICH THEY ARE FOUND. The child excuses himself from the obedience which he should be rendering to his parents; the scholar, from the application he should be giving to his studies; the apprentice, from the attention he should be devoting to his business; the agriculturist, from the labour he should be putting forth in the fields; the captain, from setting sail on the troubled waters; the unsuccessful tradesman or merchant, from investigating his books and seeing how he really stands; the failing manufacturer, from closing his mill; the statesman from bringing forward his perilous measure; the minister, from seeking his delicate and difficult interview; the soul not yet reconciled to God, from a searching inquiry into its own spiritual condition and present obligation.


1. There is a decided ingredient of falsehood about them. Those who fashion them know in their hearts that there is something, if not much, that is imaginary about them. The lion is not without; the slothful man wilt not be slain in the streets. The evil which is anticipated in all cases of excuse is exaggerated, if it is not invented. We do not, at such times, tell ourselves the whole, truth; we "deceive our own selves."

2. There is something of meanness or unmanliness about them; we "let 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would.'" We allow a craven feeling of apprehension to enter in, to take possession, to prevail over our better self.

3. There is an element of disobedience and unfaithfulness. We shrink from doing the thing which is our duty to do; we relegate to the rear that which we should keep in the front; we prefer that which is agreeable to that which is obligatory; we obey the lower voice; we leave unfulfilled the will of God.


1. To have a very pitiable retrospect; to have to look back, self-condemned, on work left undone, on a life not well lived.

2. To lose all that might have been gained by energy and decision, and which has been lost by sloth and weakness. And who shall say what this amounts to in the years of a long life?

3. To miss the "Well done" of the Master, if not, indeed, to receive his final and sorrowful condemnation. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

WEB: The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I will be killed in the streets!"

The Grace of the Lips
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