Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Elements of Wisdom - Hard Work


Proverbs 6:6-11
6Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”

Sluggard. What a word to describe the lazy man (or woman). In contrast to the sluggard Solomon directs his son’s attention to the wee little ant. And so the ant serves as an object lesson for us in initiative, diligence, and responsibility or in essence hard honest work. These are all very important character traits to develop and maintain.

Initiative” – This is a very important character trait of a good laborer. Self-starters are either initiators, or if given a task they see to it that it is accomplished without much if any supervision at all.

Diligence” – That is one who is steady. He refuses to be idle or lazy. He perseveres. He toils on. Many foreigners come to America primarily because it is indeed the land of opportunity. In most cases they are diligent because they work to survive. For them work is a matter of survival for them and their families, and leisure is something that does not even enter the radar. In many cases the average worker cannot even begin to compete with such an assiduous worker. The answer is not to get rid of competition rather the answer is to work harder.

Responsibility” – The ant looks ahead and knows that the season will soon change, and so what does he do? - he saves. It takes some discipline not to spend beyond a budget, and not to spend foolishly. There is great wisdom in being thrifty.

The sluggard is full of excuses, perhaps too many refusals to take up his responsibilities. Christians should never exhibit the attitude of a sluggard in any area of work, especially in relation to the one which is done directly unto the Lord, namely his ministries. We must learn to always give our 100% in every endeavor. Remember God deserves our finest.

As usual there are many other Bible verses to consider about hard work in Proverbs, here are a few to consider:

Proverbs 10:4-5
4He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. 5He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.”

Here are strings of verses from Proverbs 12:

verse 11
He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.”

verse 24
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”

verse 27
The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”

Proverbs 13:4
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” (see also verse 11)

Proverbs 14:23
In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.”

Proverbs 22:29
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”

There is great wisdom in learning to do hard and honest work.

2 comments:

Kate said...

This deserves a loud and hearty AMEN! Could you hear it all the way from Virginia???

I think of spiritual husbandry as well ... Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” How can a believer make it through the trials and tribulations of life without digging into the Word and gleaning???

Good post, Brother!!!

Bill Hardecker said...

I really appriciate your support and comments. You are always encouraging. Thanks.