May 19, 2024 – Proverbs 11; 19; 20; 24; 26

Lesson Date: May 19, 2024

Focal Scripture Passage: Proverbs 11:1; 19:5, 9; 20:4, 17, 23; 24:30-34; 26:13-16

AIM: To lead students to discover three biblical principles relating to dishonesty and laziness, and to examine themselves and repent of their sins involving dishonesty or laziness.


Before class: Read the notes on Proverbs 11; 19; 20; 24; and 26 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  If possible, bring a balance scale to class as a visual aid.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the following story (or one similar to it) to the class:

Dr. Bright was a beloved and respected professor at the university.  Through his long years of service, he had worked in many other roles in addition to his teaching duties.  When the dean retired, Dr. Bright was asked to serve as interim dean while the search committee looked for a replacement.

After a few months, the head of the search committee approached Dr. Bright and told him the committee was unanimous in their desire to consider him as the permanent dean.  Dr. Bright was humbled and thankful for the committee’s trust, and agreed to enter into the official selection process.  He filled out the necessary paperwork and submitted it to the search committee, which then began the official vetting process.

The entire university was shocked when the search committee discovered that Dr. Bright had “padded” his resume, and that he never received advanced degrees from or even attended the prestigious universities listed on his biographical sketch.  In fact, the committee learned that Dr. Bright didn’t have a doctorate at all!  After his twenty plus years of faithful service, “Dr.” Bright was fired in disgrace.

Tell the students that stories like this surface in the news media far too often.  State that many people today believe “the end justifies the means,” so they will lie and take whatever shortcuts they can to reach their desired goals.  Explain that dishonesty and laziness are common today, but the Bible makes it clear that we should be honest and hardworking people.

Tell the class the title of today’s lesson is Dishonesty and Laziness.  Tell them this morning we will discover three biblical principles relating to dishonesty and laziness, and we’ll also examine ourselves for signs of dishonesty and laziness.



  1. Review.
    • Tell the students that we are nearing the end of our study of Proverbs.
    • Give everyone a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly for our Summer quarter study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (The Virtuous Woman; we discovered the Bible’s descriptions of a virtuous woman, and examined ourselves to see if we are virtuous people).
    • Ask if anyone would recite last week’s memory verse (Prov. 31:30).
  2. God Hates Dishonesty.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Proverbs 11.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 11:1.
    • Ask: “What is an abomination to the Lord?” (a false balance).
    • Ask: “What delights the Lord?” (a just weight).
    • Ask everyone to turn to Proverbs 20.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 20:23.
    • Explain the following:
      • Many of our foods today are pre-packaged, but produce often must be weighed, usually on an electronic scale.
      • In ancient times, items sold by weight were weighed on some type of balance scale.
      • If you brought a balance scale to class, show it to the students.
      • Items were weighed in one pan by balancing them with a known counterweight in the other pan.
      • You must have a true counterweight in one pan to weigh out an accurate amount in the other pan.
      • It was common in ancient times for dishonest merchants to use counterweights that weighed less than they were supposed to, allowing them to cheat their customers.
    • Ask: “How does God feel about such dishonesty?” (it is an abomination to Him).
    • Tell the students that an abomination is something that is revolting, disgusting, and sickening.
    • Stress the fact that God hates dishonesty.
    • Ask: “What did Proverbs 11:1 say about a just or honest weight?” (it is a delight to Him).
    • Ask: “Most merchants today do not sell items by weight, but what are some ways people are dishonest in business?” (allow time for responses).
    • Tell the students that Romans 12:17 says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”
    • Summarize: God hates dishonesty, but He delights when we are honest.
  3. Liars Will Be Punished.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Proverbs 19.
    • Read Proverbs 19:5, 9.
    • Ask: “What is a false witness?” (a liar).
    • Tell the class that God warned His people in the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Ex. 20:16).
    • Ask: “Looking back at Proverbs 19:5, 9, what will happen to a liar?” (he or she will not escape punishment).
    • Ask: “Do liars get away with their deceit?” (no; these verses promise that liars will not escape, but they will perish).
    • Ask: “Is lying common in our world today?” (yes).
    • Ask: “What are some situations in which many people lie?” (calling in sick when they are not, “padding” their resume, lying on their tax return, many people lie on “dating apps,” many children and young people lie to their parents, etc.)
    • Tell the class that in addition to punishment, lying doesn’t bring the joy and satisfaction that people think it will.
    • Ask everyone to turn to Proverbs 20.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 20:17.
    • Ask: “What does that verse say about gain produced through dishonesty?” (it may seem sweet at first, but later it becomes like eating gravel).
    • Explain the following:
      • Even if liars escape punishment here on earth, their future judgment at God’s hands is certain.
      • Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
      • Lying is serious; liars will be judged along with idol worshipers, witches, adulterers, and murderers!
    • Summarize: Liars will be punished. Any temporary joy or gain achieved through lying is not worth the shame and punishment that will come afterward.
  4. God’s People Must Not be Lazy.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 20:4.
    • Explain that a sluggard is a lazy, slothful person who uses any available excuse to get out of working.
    • Ask: “According to this verse, what excuse does a lazy man use for not working?” (cold weather).
    • Ask: “What will happen to him?” (he will go hungry).
    • Ask everyone to turn to Proverbs 24.
    • Read Proverbs 24:30-34.
    • Ask: “How did Solomon describe the field of the lazy man?” (it was grown over with weeds and in disrepair).
    • Ask: “According to verses 32-34, what did Solomon learn by observing the lazy man’s field?” (that sleeping when you should be working leads to poverty).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 26:13.
    • Ask: “According to verse 13, what excuse does the lazy man use to avoid working?” (there might be a dangerous lion out in the street).
    • Explain the following:
      • Streets are where the work and commerce of the world take place.
      • During daylight hours, lions do not go where there is a lot of human activity, such as busy streets.
      • This is a flimsy excuse: there isn’t really a lion in the street.
      • A lazy man uses a flimsy excuse to get out of work.
    • Read Proverbs 26:14-16.
    • Ask: “What does verse 14 say about the lazy man?” (he stays in bed, turning back and forth like a door turns on its hinges).
    • Tell the class that a door may move a lot, but it doesn’t get anywhere; the same is true of a lazy person.
    • Ask: “According to verse 15, what is the slothful man too lazy to do?” (feed himself).
    • Ask: “What does verse 16 say the lazy man thinks of himself?” (he thinks he is wiser than everyone else).
    • Tell the class that the Bible says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Eccl. 9:10a), and “… study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands ….” (1 Thess. 4:11).
    • Summarize: God’s people must not be lazy. Christians ought to be the very best workers at any place of business.  Hard work honors God.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that the title of today’s lesson is Dishonesty and Laziness.  Tell them we have learned that God hates dishonesty, liars will be punished, and God’s people should not be lazy.

Tell the class that dishonesty, lying, and laziness are commonplace in our modern culture, but God wants His people to be honest and hardworking.

Ask the students to answer the following questions silently and honestly:

“Am I dishonest?”

“Do I accept grades, pay, promotions, or honors that I didn’t earn?”

“Have I lied to my spouse, parents, employers, the church, or the government?”

“Am I lazy?”

“Am I unwilling to work hard?”

“Do I cheat my employer by coming to work late, wasting time at work, or leaving early?”

“Have I abused my sick leave?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Tell them to confess their sin to God, and to promise Him that they will be honest in what they say and do.  Tell them to confess the sin of laziness to God, and to make a commitment to Him to be a diligent worker.  Allow a moment for private prayer, and then voice a closing prayer.


CONCLUSION: Tell everyone to do the following this week:

Be honest.

Tell the truth.

Work hard.


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