He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.
Solomon taught many principles of physical and spiritual success in the Proverbs. Here he reinforces the principle of cause and effect. If we work hard and complete tasks when they need to be done, we will be demonstrating wisdom and working toward success. If we are lazy and careless, doing shoddy work and missing deadlines, we are hurting ourselves and diminishing our chances for success.
Elsewhere Solomon makes clear that there are extenuating circumstances that can give the lazy person temporary success and the diligent person temporary poverty (Ecclesiastes 9:11). But in the long run—and most importantly, in our spiritual character development—hard work will pay off (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
For more about cause and effect and the benefits of diligent effort, see our article on “Hard Work.”