At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule:Proverbs 12:24
But the slothful shall be under tribute
We live in a time where we love to talk about leaders, but we rarely talk about rulers. In addition, we tend to think of this as though it were the result of a great advance of liberty. But it actually is not. Rulers obviously need to be constitutionally bounded, but leaders? As long as they secured the necessary buy-in from their base, they can lead us all right over the cliff.
C.S. Lewis put it this way:
“The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good—anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name ‘leaders’ for those who were once ‘rulers’. We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, ‘Mind your own business.’ Our whole lives are their business.”
This proverb sets an alternative before us. The diligent go in this way, while the slothful go in another direction. The two directions are rule and slavery, respectively. Diligence in a chosen vocational activity is a combination of hard work, enthusiasm, and competence. When someone gives himself to the pursuit of such excellence, the end result is that he will stand before kings (Prov. 22:29). Are you ambitious to be the right kind of ruler? Then mind your own business, tend your own knitting, and mow your own yard. The hand that reaches for rule for its own sake doesn’t get it. The hand that winds up bearing rule is a hand with its very own calluses on it.
But laziness spirals down into slavery. He is an obvious candidate for corvée. He is put to forced labor. He is conscripted for the use of others. Precisely because he was not a self-starter, someone else decided to start him up.
 C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (HarperOne, 1994), 349–350.