“There is profit in all hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty.”
Mankind was created to work—to cultivate the earth, to master its possibilities, to rule over it, and to watch over it (Gen. 1:26-28, 2:15). What a great blessing is ours that through our diligent labor, the earth might produce something it otherwise would not have produced. Creation care and creation cultivation are the joy of all humankind, bearing the image of God and fashioned by the work of His hands— we, the pinnacle of the Almighty’s own creative endeavor. The Bible teaches that our work is to be done “as unto the Lord,” (Col. 3:23), and that “whatever our hands find to do” is to be done with all our might (Ecc. 9:10).
What a blessing it is to work and to produce good things, under the banner of God’s graces toward us! Whether your work is in the medical field or in the classroom, in the church building or in the city building, on the road or on a platform, if it is righteous and good, cultivating and/or caring for God’s creation, it is a blessing to put your hands to the work.
However, we all know those individuals who are all talk and no action. Great ideas are chaff in the wind unless diligent hands put them into action. To those who talk about work without putting their hands to the plow, the warning of Proverbs 14:23 comes sharply. The Book of Proverbs has no regard for the slacker, whether at home or in the workplace. Those who refuse to give the effort of which they are capable will find themselves in poverty. The blessing of profit is given to those who are able to work, in any capacity, and find themselves diligent in it.
Here are some ideas for making sure your work is diligent and productive:
- When you have a good idea, and it is vetted through the wise counsel of others, make an immediate plan for the “next step.” Don’t let good ideas sit unattended. Give yourself clear direction to begin putting them into action.
- Balance work and rest carefully. The Lord himself modeled this, doing the work of creation for six days and resting on the seventh. Workoholics who neglect their families and their worship routines for the sake of business success lack faith in God, who is entirely capable of sustaining the work of our hands while we admit our limitations by embracing a regular routine of rest and worship.
- Don’t let the few negative things outweigh the many blessings of diligent work. Even though diligent work is a blessing from God, it is still currently conducted in a sin-scarred environment. Focus on the good things the Lord is allowing you to produce, and don’t let the negative things distract you from the purpose He has given you.
- Fill yourself with the Word of God daily before work. When you give your mornings to the Lord in Bible reading and prayer, it will change your attitude for the day.
- Celebrate small wins. Every small step in the right direction is worth congratulations and celebration. The work will never be completely done. But through the diligent hands of a committed few, it can always be moving in the right direction.
This is not a get rich post. Often the greatest profits that come from obedience to God’s Word are not measurable by dollar signs and bank accounts. Often the greatest blessings of God come in the form of relationships, peace, spiritual growth, fulfillment, good rapport, and righteous contentment.
So, how is your attitude toward work? Put your hands to it today with a glad heart. Work with diligence and skill. Cultivate God’s earth and care for it. Fulfill the creation mandate while drawing near to God. And watch how your attitude and productivity in the work place will change for the better.
Grace and Peace,