Want ethic vs work ethic

5/16/19 1:30 AM

Proverbs 19.13-14
“A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

Disrespectful and disobedient children, and a nagging, contentious spouse (whether husband or wife), are painful. Home should be a place of sanctuary, support, respect, and love … but when children are foolish and a spouse is quarrelsome, home becomes a place of grief and pain.

It’s interesting that this proverb tells us that we inherit material wealth from our earthly fathers, but we receive a wise and prudent spouse as a gift from the Lord.

Proverbs 19.15
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.”

I hope you don’t get tired of the book of Proverbs repeating itself on various subjects and themes. Repetition is essential to the process of disciplined learning (musar), and that is why certain subjects come up again and again in Proverbs.

This verse is a repetition of the warning against laziness. Lazy people have adopted a foolish strategy for living, and it will lead to their self-destruction. This is true whether the setting is farm, field, factory, fellowship, or family. Diligent work is necessary for the life to which the Lord calls us, especially so since The Fall in Genesis 3. If you don’t work diligently and wisely, things will gradually deteriorate.

The problem is that everyone wants, but not everyone works. That is the message in this proverb. Lazy people would rather sleep than work.

  • You don’t get the marriage you want, you get the marriage you work for.
  • You don’t get the career you want, you get the career you work for.
  • You don’t get the physical fitness you want, you get the fitness you work for.
  • You don’t the spiritual maturity you want, you get the maturity you work for.

Want ethic vs work ethic is a serious problem in our society. There is a great deal in the 21st century social environment that stimulates and encourages wanting, but not nearly enough that consistently stimulates and motivates working.

Even within the Christian community there is strong resistance to the reality that disciplined effort and diligent work are necessary for spiritual growth. This is surprising given how clear scripture is regarding the necessity for disciplined effort.

God has created a universe of cause-and-effect where diligent work is a core discipline. Work is how stuff gets made, problems get solved, things get fixed, and goals are achieved.  Work is what makes things work. That is God’s design.

I pray that the Christian community awaken to the priority and necessity of wise and disciplined work.

Tim Kight

Written by Tim Kight

Founder of Focus 3, Tim focuses on the critical factors that distinguish great organizations from average organizations. He delivers a powerful message on the mindset & skills at the heart of individual & organizational performance.

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