Read through Proverbs in 31 days, Today’s reading is entitled “Work Hard and Prosper”
Read Proverbs 13 – We have an interesting focal point to consider for today. Do you know people who work two or more jobs just to be able to survive? It certainly sounds like that person is truly working hard and not prospering, financially at least. You may even know people who have worked hard for an entire lifetime and regretted not making time for God. When we see so many references to hard work, prospering, laziness and starvation we have to consider the situation to which the scripture refers – spiritual or physical? I recently heard a sermon on how to apply the word “lazy” which is mentioned so often in scripture. The point was made that we may have become “lazy” in our commitment to church during the Covid-19 stay-at-home orders. When the churches are allowed to open again we may have a hard time being motivated to get dressed and leave the comforts of home to attend a church service. The point was made in this sermon that we should not become lazy in either our spiritual beliefs or commitment to an earthly job. If you don’t work you will starve (at least in scriptural times) and if you choose not to worship the only true God your spiritual life will wither like any living being deprived of life-giving water.
With these comparisons in mind let’s take a look at some of the ponderings for today.
- A child who accepts a parent’s wisdom wins a good meal, while a treacherous mocker refuses to listen and has an appetite for violence.
- Hard workers who control their tongue will have a prosperous life, the lazy will get little by never realizing that opening your mouth can ruin everything.
- Wealth acquired from hard work while fulfilling a dream will continue to grow, while get rich quick schemes will produce a wealth that disappears just as quickly
- Wise people, thinking before they act, will bring healing while fools who may even brag about their foolish acts are just stumbling into trouble.
- Those who hate their children will abhor discipline, but love for your child requires the application of that discipline.
Look around at the world today (mid-2020 at least) and notice what seems to be taking over the younger generations. You may agree or disagree, and that is certainly your right, but it looks like the prevailing thoughts and actions are focused on worldly things. It’s all about me, and I am the center of my universe. The main problem with that mindset is that it is completely opposite of what Jesus taught. When you think about it there is an even greater problem with that belief – if everyone in a society doesn’t consider anyone other than themselves, everyone adopts a “taker” mentality. If all citizens of a society believe this way, who can they take from since nobody cares anything about others. It seems that some societies are reaching a point where the parent’s wisdom, when taken, is greatly skewed toward worldly ways.
Hard work, wealth and prosperity are associated with those who will learn from the experiences of parents and other mentors. Those who will listen to loving, caring guidance will realize their dreams and enjoy them for a lifetime. Will there be trials along the way? Speed bumps in the road of life? We can certainly expect these, but the comfort of God helps us to get through anything without feeling a need to panic. Since we know that God is in charge of all things and has power over everything in nature, we are guided through each twist and turn by that knowledge. In your younger years did you hear the phrase “put your brain in gear before your mouth takes off?” That sounds exactly like the wisdom given by Solomon that the “teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.”
How often have you heard about discipline from the pulpit, on tv or radio? Discipline is a tough concept to understand when the beliefs of a society are me-centered. Because discipline is likely to be unpleasant, parents don’t want to inflict it upon themselves or their children due to a fear that it may cause emotional or physical damage. Did corporal punishment cause damage to the students who received it? Growing up in the mid to late 20th century, or before, many experienced punishment, discipline and even prayer in schools. As Jimmy Stewart said in “It’s a Wonderful Life” – it makes them better citizens, customers, and Christians (my added phrase). Yes, those who are taking the approach of abandoning discipline will have to live with the results in their own families, communities and world around them.