|He who is slothful in his work, is a brother to…a great destroyer. Proverbs 18:9|
|God’s interested in what you do for work; He’s also interested in how you do it. The truth is, your prospects for the future are determined by your work ethic. For the next few days let’s look at some work habits from the book of Proverbs to avoid or acquire if you want God’s blessing.
‘I went past the field of the sluggard…the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins…I…learned a lesson…A little sleep…folding of the hands…and poverty will come on you like a bandit…’ (Proverbs 24:30-34 NIV). Laziness produces lack just as surely as a thief will rob you. The Bible says lazy people are: a) procrastinators. ‘A little sleep…folding of the hands.’ They say, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow,’ but tomorrow never comes b) expensive to maintain. ‘He who is slothful in his work is a brother to…a great destroyer.’ They complain, cut corners, cripple businesses and cause hardship c) quitters. They quit before the job’s finished. ‘The lazy man does not roast his game…’ (Proverbs 12:27 NIV). He hunts the deer but he won’t clean it. Unfinished projects fill his life: Half-built cupboards, half-painted rooms, half-tidied garages. Sound familiar? d) masters of excuses. ‘The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside!’ or, ‘I will be murdered in the streets!’ (Proverbs 22:13 NIV). When he runs out of credible excuses he goes for ridiculous ones. He ‘…will not plough by reason of the cold…’ (Proverbs 20:4). ‘You want me to get sick, going to work in this weather?’ Or if it’s warm, ‘It’s way too nice for work!’ Whatever your work, do it conscientiously. Don’t let laziness rob you of success.
|…the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4|
|If you want to succeed on the job here’s a character quality you need to develop: diligence.
When asked, ‘What’s your biggest challenge?’ employers usually say, ‘Finding and keeping good people.’ It makes or breaks any business. ‘A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.’ Diligence calls for being self-disciplined, motivated, alert, dependable, and entails following through. The Bible says, ‘…diligence is…precious…’ (Proverbs 12:27 NKJV) because it’s so hard to find. Diligent workers are worth their wages: ‘The plans of the diligent lead to profit…’ (Proverbs 21:5 NIV). In God’s system the boss should profit by you and you should profit by him. Indeed, diligent people plan to be profitable employees. Do you want to prosper? See that your employer prospers! Diligent workers rejoice in this, lazy workers resent it. Diligence, not politics and manipulation, will get you promoted. ‘Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labour’ (Proverbs 12:24 NIV). In God’s economy you determine whether you become ‘ruler’ or ‘slave’ by how hard you’re willing to work. Lazy employees complain about the unfair boss, the stacked system, the ‘company men’ who look out for the boss and the boss who looks out for them. They want the privileges others get but they’re not willing to work for them. ‘The sluggard craves and gets nothing…’ (Proverbs 13:4 NIV) because ‘…his hands refuse to work’ (Proverbs 21:25 NIV). ‘…but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied’ (Proverbs 13:4 NIV). They get it all: the satisfaction of a job well done, a reputation for integrity, the trust of others, job security, profit, promotion, and most importantly, the Master’s ‘Well done.’