25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
but the righteous give without sparing.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
how much more so when brought with evil intent!
The sluggard’s problem is not that he craves too much, but that he cares too little. He has little regard for duty or for charity, and he is a critic of those who do. Dorothy Sayers famously had this to say about sloth: “In the world it calls itself Tolerance; but in hell it is called Despair. It is the accomplice of the other sins and their worst punishment. It is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing. lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for. We have known it far too well for many years. The only thing perhaps that we have not known about it is that it is mortal sin.”
“The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable— how much more so when brought with evil intent!” When sacrifice is done right, it liberates one’s heart from the grip of sin. The way to escape greed is through generosity, the way out of anger is to cancel the debt. But what if a sacrifice is done not to weaken sin, but to enable it? Not to demonstrate repentance, but to purchase impunity? All acts which corrupt the purpose of a thing are detestable, and this is no exception. There is an acknowledgement of varying degrees here: those who do this intentionally are the most detestable of all – and the most in need of the freedom they trample on.