“Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.” (Ecclesiastes 10:18)
What the Preacher observed here is certainly true of a literal house: if you neglect needed maintenance and repairs, then over time the rafters of your home will sag, and your roof will leak. You need to do consistent maintenance if you want to keep your home in good repair.
But perhaps Solomon was also speaking of something more than buildings? There are many areas of life which take continual maintenance in order to be kept up:
— It is true for you physically: if you neglect physical discipline, parts of your body may “sag” because you are not exercising the way you should!
— It applies to maintaining relationships as well. If you neglect time with your spouse or children, or any friendship, the relationship will end up suffering. Consistent daily and weekly time must be invested into maintaining any good relationship.
— A local church requires this too. If you don’t consistently do the work of teaching doctrine, of maintaining standards, and enforcing discipline, then the church end up with some major problems over time. How did it happen that a certain church accepts deviant lifestyles, or heretical doctrine? More than likely, it didn’t happen all at once. It came about gradually, as the weekly “maintenance” of teaching and enforcing standards was not exercised at the church.
It is true for virtually any work: if you neglect daily, minor, consistent maintenance, then big problems will ensue. It is just as Solomon said in Proverbs 6:10-11: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands — your poverty will come in like a vagabond.” In other words, it only takes “a little” neglect, multiplied over time, to present you with some pretty major problems.
Perhaps there is some “little” thing God is nudging you to do today, that would help you maintain your house, your physical body, an important relationship, or your church? Do that little thing today — so your “rafters” won’t sag tomorrow! 🙂