The prolific Christian author, Charles Swindoll, once quipped that, ‘’Many Christians seem to think Manual Labour is the President of Mexico!’’
Warren Wiersbe writes about a new college graduate who was asked if he was looking for work. He thought for a minute and then replied, ‘’No, but I would like to have a job.’’ The truth is that no-one’s life changes by wishing it to be so. There are things we have to do. Today would be a good time to start!
In the Proverbs passage we began to look at yesterday, there is also teaching about hard work and providence. What did the wise man learn from the field of ‘’the sluggard’’ (30)? It is an important life-lesson about the perils of laziness. (See also 10:4 and 14:23.)
Take time to look closely at the world and consider (32). Don’t live on the surface. Go deep. Take time to reflect. ‘’I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened…’’ The Message. Somebody observed that the unconsidered life is hardly worth living. Sit under life’s pulpit; listen, watch and become wise. ‘’What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?’’ What the wise man learned from what he saw is that if a person does not work they will not have enough to live on, and what they do have will fall into ruin. (By the way, some people’s souls are like this sad landscape –covered in weeds and showing signs of ruin. In many, if not most, cases it stems from neglect. The spiritual life is under-developed through lack of diligence.)
It is important to understand that the problem addressed here is not appropriate rest. There is a need for that. God has built a pattern of work and rest into the structure of life, and we ignore it to our own detriment. One very well known, hard-working and productive preacher was known to have his ‘’horizontal half hour’’ after lunch every day. He was often travelling, and he put in long hours, but he found that this pattern involving a short daily nap helped to rejuvenate him.
In terms of work, it is vital to get your priorities right (27). It is important to know that you can live before you prepare a place to live in. If you don’t have any food what’s the point of a house? ‘’This saying teaches us to first establish our livelihood and only then start a family. A wise man plans ahead; he first lays a foundation and then he builds on it.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary, p. 958.
‘’I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.’’ Thomas Edison.
‘’Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry.’’ Benjamin Franklin.