“The One Who is Unwilling to Work Shall Not Eat”

Reading from the Book of Proverbs is a smart way to start each day, especially since it contains God’s wisdom that can be applied easily to our lives today.  One of the subjects addressed repeatedly is hard work vs. laziness.  It is universally accepted that a person who works hard is more admirable than a slacker.  Every parent instinctually understands that they should teach their children to work hard rather than to strive to be a lazy couch potato.  According to Proverbs, one’s work ethic is a reflection of one’s heart for God.

couchpotatoPositive benefits and characteristics for the person who works hard include:

  • Increased wealth (10:4)
  • Abundant food (12:11)
  • Granted supervisory roles at work (12:24)
  • Earn profits (14:23)
  • Become skilled at your work (22:29)



On the other hand, there are numerous consequences and characteristics of the lazy person:

  • Become poor (10:4; 14:23)
  • Irritate your employer (10:26)
  • Go hungry (19:15)
  • Love sleep (20:13; 24:33-34; 26:14)
  • Make excuses for why you cannot work today (22:13; 26:13)

And to put it in a New Testament context, it is contradictory for a lazy person to claim to be a follower of Christ.  The Apostle Paul established a rule with the Thessalonian Christians, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).  Apparently, in 1st century Thessalonica, there were lazy Christians living off the earnings of other Christians who did work, and this was to be prohibited among God’s people.

Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, is transparent about his Christian faith and a perfect example of hard work.  His work ethic is quickly becoming legendary.  He is up at 6 AM every day, including the off-season, breaking down film of opposing defenses.  Then he writes reports, which he gives to his wide receivers to study.  Not everyone thought this was a wonderful approach when he was first drafted.  It has been noted that wide receiver Golden Tate thought he was too serious and over the top, but now has been won over by Wilson’s dedication, because he recognizes the results.Russell Wilson

Russell makes no apologies for his intensity as he discusses his work ethic in a recent article from nfl.com:

“I believe in my talent,” he said. “I believe in everything that I’ve been given. I expect to play at a high level, and I expect to be fighting for a Super Bowl every year. I put all the hard work in, and I expect great things when I put the hard work in. Like I always say, the separation is in the preparation.”

There are many elements of life that are out of our control, but our effort at work or school is our decision.  This is one of the most important choices we can make and model for our children and those who know we are Christians.  As we have chosen to follow Jesus, chosen to love one another, let’s choose daily to be productive members of society.  It is only when we earn profits and increase our wealth that we can help those in need.  I pray that God will grant each one of us the motivation and self-worth as disciples of Jesus to put forth our best effort, so that we can be a blessing to others.

Go Hawks!

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