I have been reading through the book of Proverbs multiple times for a class I am taking in Bible College. There are lots of things in Proverbs that are repeated multiple times, sometimes even multiple times a chapter, every chapter it seems. And there are definitely some good life lessons to take away from it. I think as people we are forgetful and need sometimes to be reminded over and over again of the same things. I know that’s one of my flaws is that no matter how hard I try to remember things, it seems there’s always something that I overlooked or still forgot about. So reading through the book of Proverbs has been good for me!
One thing that’s repeated a lot is the lazy man and the diligent man. Hard work versus no work, and the result of both. “The soul of the lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” (Prov. 13:4). I can identify with the lazy man. Sometimes I just want the easy way, to not do anything and not work hard but to receive the benefits of hard work. But there’s no way around it, and I’ve found that there’s no satisfaction in doing a half hearted job in anything. It actually is just stressful!
If you aren’t willing to work in life, you won’t get anything out of it. It’s clear in the Proverbs that the wisdom it gives us is for our own good, it’s so that we will prosper, get the most out of life, have the best quality of life. The reward of hard work is that you reap the benefits, you have a sense of accomplishment, and you can then sit back in peace and joy and relax when the time comes to enjoy the rewards. “A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul” (Proverbs 13:19) There’s something in us as people, and as created in God’s image that makes us want to work and to accomplish things. Work isn’t bad! Adam and Eve in their perfect world were told to tend and care for the garden. Though work is cursed, work wasn’t part of the curse.
So I have been learning as I have been reminded over and over again, to do my best in everything. To remember that I am working unto the Lord first and foremost, but also that there’s no satisfaction or benefit at all to being lazy. 2 Cor. 9:6 says, ”But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” I want to and encourage you to sow bountifully into the things that God has put before you in this season and to work hard! Only then will you get out of life what God intended.