‘Hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.’ Proverbs 14:23 NIV
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon uses the word sluggard no less than seventeen times. A sluggard isn’t a person who would work but can’t find a job; a sluggard is a person who could work but won’t. The story is told of a man who applied for assistance at the welfare office. The official asked, ‘Why do you need financial aid?’ He replied, ‘Because I’m having trouble with my eyes.’ The official asked, ‘What’s the nature of your eye trouble?’ The man replied, ‘I just can’t see myself going to work every day.’ And every sluggard has eye trouble. Or it doesn’t bother him as long as somebody else is doing the work.
President Theodore Roosevelt was right when he said: ‘Extend pity to no man because he has to work. If he’s worth his salt, he’ll work. I envy the man who has work worth doing, and does it well… far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.’ Somehow we’ve lost the spirit, if not the letter, of President Roosevelt’s thinking. Ask any employer and they will tell you that someone who’ll work, work hard, do the job right, and finish the task, is getting harder to find. God’s not against leisure. A worker who’s rested and refreshed will be a better worker. Solomon’s contrast in the book of Proverbs is between labour and laziness. Parent, one of the best things you can do for your children is to pass a strong work ethic on to them, and set them up to succeed in life.
SoulFood: Gen 40–41, John 16:16–33, Ps 148:7–14, Ecc 5:4–6
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023