“It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.”
The wise person seeks to avoid conflict. The foolish person is combative and easily drawn into quarrels and fights. It’s a matter of being disciplined and self-controlled vs being undisciplined and impulsive.
Our world is made better by disciplined people who are peace-makers and who seek to avoid conflict. Our world is made harsh and cruel by people who lack self-control, and who are always looking for a fight.
“The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.”
There is a big difference between a “want ethic” and a “work ethic.” The difference is simple: Wanting is easy. Working is hard. The lazy person wants but doesn’t work.
To get the outcomes you want in life, you must be willing to do the work required. Achievement is the result of consistent, discipline-driven action in pursuit of your goals. The outcome you get is determined by the action you take. You don’t get the outcomes you want; you get the outcomes you work for.
- Want to learn a new language? You must do the work.
- Want to lose weight and get in shape? You must do the work.
- Want to improve the culture in your organization? You must do the work.
- Want to improve a relationship in your life? You must do the work.
A strong work ethic is essential for an effective, fruitful life. It’s also necessary for a healthy, effective society. Everyone wants, but unfortunately not everyone works. Some people are diligent and hard-working. Others are like the sluggard: lazy and indolent.
God has created a world where the most important things in life take effort and time. In order to produce anything of importance in your life, you must do the work. And at some point in the process, it gets tedious. Boring. Difficult. It becomes a grind. The message of scripture is this: embrace the grind. Do the work, especially when it gets hard.
Be careful of wanting more than you are willing to work for. Everyone wants; not everyone works.
“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”