Work is a gift of God and is to be appreciated. Good work is a blessing and great rewards come from it. It is satisfying.
On the other hand, idleness is considered in the Scripture to be unwise. In the Bible, we’re told that God provides for the creatures. But as one man said, “God feeds the birds, but he doesn’t dig for worms.”
A lazy person can’t be depended upon. Neither can a employer trust an employee who seeks his own gratification. A lazy person will waste time, opportunities and resources. There will be no pride in accomplishments. No matter how much ability a person has, it won’t get the job done, unless that person shows commitment and responsibility.
In a famous study by Victor and Mildred Goertzel, titled “Cradles of Eminence,” the home backgrounds of 300 highly successful people were investigated. These 300 subjects had made it to the top. They were men and women whose names everyone would recognize as brilliant in their finds, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Clara Barton and Einstein. The intensive investigation into their early home lives yielded some surprising findings:
— Three-fourths of them as children were troubled either by poverty, a broken home or rejecting, overpossessive or dominating parents.
— Seventy-four of 85 writers of fiction or drama and 16 of 20 poets came from homes where, as children, they saw tense psychological drama played out by their parents.
— Physical handicaps such as blindness, deafness or crippled limbs characterized more than one-fourth of the sample.
How did these people go on, then, to such outstanding accomplishments? They compensated for their weaknesses in one area by excelling in another.
“The Preacher” (Ecclesiastes) doesn’t give excuses for man to be slothful or lazy. This Old Testament book promotes labor — the work ethic — through one’s own ability to provide for himself. “Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion” (Ecclesiastes 5:18).
In Proverbs 24:30-34, the author gives an example of the man who doesn’t care and has no desire to tend to business. He concludes that laziness is a sin against God, while honest work is a virtue that is pleasing to God — the heart of the work ethic.
The writer is not talking about work that takes the place of God and family in our lives, but the work that gives opportunity for a person to live a happy and fulfilled life with priorities in the right place.
Without honest work by its able citizens, a nation is hurt, the social system suffers and everyone is affected. We have responsibility — God never promised to do everything for us.
A man was walking by a beautiful garden, which was once a overgrown weed patch. He called out to the gardener, “You and God have surely made a beautiful garden.”
The gardener replied, “You should have seen it when He had it by Himself.”