A sluggard is a lazy person who refuses to work and whose desires are not met. The Hebrew word translated as sluggard in most English Bibles in this verse is “asel” which is translated as slothful elsewhere. A sluggard has either little willpower or their will is directed to unproductive, unedifying, and/or unprofitable occupation. They are motivated by little except ease. They choose to do little except rest and sleep. Anyone can become a sluggard.
The author, a father instructing his child points to a productive ant colony saying, “Go to the ant and consider its ways and be wise!” Ants have no commander, overseer, or ruler yet each work for the good of the colony. They store provisions in the summer and gather food at harvest. (6-7) The human equivalent is living a respectable profitable occupation, saving money, and investing for the future.
How to gain enough will to overcome a sluggard life? One must first decide to change one’s ways. The rut mindset of a sluggard is to say no to self and have low self-esteem. A sluggard doesn’t try mostly because they don’t believe they can succeed. They have low self-esteem. One can overcome this by having a positive role model. Someone who continued a long walk and succeeded in spite of hardship and obstacles in their path. Someone who tried and tried again until they made something good with the life God gave them.