From The Heart

Publish date: 05/10/1998

Foundation Scripture: Proverbs 10:4-5  (NIV)

4Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. 5He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

The Bible has abundant counsel on how we should conduct our lives and affairs, in a way that is pleasing to God and that brings blessing to our lives. We are God’s children – He desires that we should be blessed and He gives us instruction, through His word, on how we can be blessed. We will never be blessed if we are lazy, slothful and sloppy. In anything and everything we put our hand to, we should do the best we can and we should keep on doing it. We should not do half-a-job, but we should be diligent to a proper job from beginning to end and we should always endeavor to finish what we begin.

Proverbs 6:6-11   (NIV)
6Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--11and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

It is not difficult to be poor – all you have to do is – nothing!

Proverbs 12:24  (NIV)
24Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.

When you are lazy, you will never have control over your own life, and when you do labor it will be for someone else. You will build their wealth with your “slave-labor” - instead of building your own wealth by your diligence. The diligent man will always end up the boss over the not-so-diligent man.

Proverbs 12:11   (NIV)
11He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

Proverbs 28:19   (NIV)
19He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.

The blessing of diligent, hard work is abundant provision, but when we try to find some other solution, without working (a get-rich-quick scheme), we will invariably end up poverty-stricken, because we have bad judgement. Some people think that having faith in God to provide, means that they sit back on their laurels and do absolutely nothing, but that is a fantasy and they lack judgement. God blesses hands that work. Some people think that being in full-time ministry means that they can sit back and do nothing, but they are mistaken. When you work for God, you should make a greater effort to be faithful and to do an excellent job.

Proverbs 14:23    (NIV)
23All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

It is good to have big dreams and plans, but if all you do is talk about them and you never get up and work to make it happen, then you will ever see them come to pass.

Proverbs 19:15   (NIV)
15Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.

If you are lazy, you will starve.

Proverbs 20:4   (NIV)
4A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.

There is a time and a season to work and to do what you need to do. Be careful to not allow opportunities to pass you by. There is a time to work hard and there is a time to reap the reward of your labor. Usually, the ‘work’ part comes before the ‘enjoying the reward’ part!

Proverbs 14:4   (NIV)
4Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

If you did not have the ox, you would not have the stall to clean, but you could have the ox, a messy stall to clean, and an abundant harvest. It takes work and commitment to bring the blessing in your life, but it is worth the effort to have the good result.