The Right Tool For The Job

Sometimes you have to get dirty if you want to get the job done right.

Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.–Proverbs 14:4

We’ve heard everyone say, “there are pros and cons to it.” This is kind of how I look at this verse. Oxen are a sizable expense, they cost a lot to feed, you have to clean out their stalls, you have to have shelter for them, and so on. On the other side of that oxen make plowing a field much easier and you can get it done faster, you can haul heavy loads with them, and use them for multiple other jobs.

Many times in life we don’t do something because it’s going to take some extra work, we’re going to have to get dirty. What we don’t always see is the benefit of that extra work or getting dirty. Or we say it is cheaper to buy this tool but if we bought a little bit better tool it wouldn’t break on us. I have a buddy that is always buying cheap tools. He mocked me for buying a $150 drill. I’ve had that drill for 10+ years, he has went through 6 drills. Guess who has actually paid more money in drills? My buddy has.

Sometimes we need the right tool for the job. I remember when I was working on the deck and pulling up the top boards to replace them. There was a nail in the post that was attached to the top board on the deck. My reciprocating saw was in the back of the garage behind some other stuff that would have to be moved. So I grabbed the crowbar and a couple other tools that were easily accessible and tried to remove that board. It didn’t work, and eventually I gave up and got the reciprocating saw. Guess what? I had the right tool and quickly cut the nail and was able to remove the board.

That’s what we do a lot of times, we try to go the easy route and we end up wasting more time than if we got the right tool to do the job. Cutting corners does not get us anywhere except regret. Sometimes we just need to get dirty to have the right tool.

This also goes for our spiritual life. Having the right tools to help us grow in our spiritual life is key. Buying the right books and study materials are key. Don’t just buy junk, because you get what you pay for.

Work Ethic

We hear work ethic thrown around a lot, but what does it mean and what does the Bible say about it?

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich–Proverbs 10:4

I want to start off with, I’m not preaching the prosperity gospel here. However, the Bible does say multiple times if we are lazy we’re not going to do well. In Proverbs 19:15 it says, “Sothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” Then in Proverbs 13:4 it states, “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”

Naturally it’s easy for us to get lazy. Being lazy makes us comfortable. Laziness is also easy, we don’t have to do stuff that we don’t like. Here in Proverbs, it’s stated pretty clear, being lazy makes it where we will hunger.

In Genesis 2:15: ” And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” From the beginning of time, God made man to work. There is something satisfying to put in a good days work. I remember working at a bottle water plant when I was in high school and college in the summers. It was hot, and hefting around 5 gallon water bottles all day would start to get tiring. At the end of the day, you could see how much work you got done, and there was something very satisfying about seeing what you had accomplished that day.

Knowing you gave all you had that day made the tiredness and the aches not feel as bad. There were other days where I knew I hadn’t given my all, and it ate at or bothered me a bit. I knew I hadn’t done my best.

We should remember that we need to be doing all things for God. That also means working, even if the job isn’t that great, God has put us there for a reason. Our work ethic is one of the most visible attributes we have that shows who we are as a person, and who we serve, the Lord. The Bible states several places that what we do we should do for the Lord.

  • Colossians 3:17 — And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
  • Proverbs 16:3– Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 — Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Sometimes this means we have to do a job we don’t fully care about or understand our purpose. Look at Noah, he spent 120 years building the Ark, not fully knowing why he was doing it. He had never seen rain and didn’t know what a flood was. As he was building the boat he was being mocked. There’s going to be times we have to persevere through a job that we don’t really want to do. I loved watching Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs. It’s a show that shows some of the hardest jobs out there where you just get nasty doing them. They’re not glamorous but the job has to be done. Many times people don’t even know those jobs are done. There is no recognition for doing that job, but in many cases when Mike would interview them, those people were happy to do it, because they knew it had to be done. They felt a sense of accomplishment.

I find myself piddling around a lot at times. I end up wasting a lot of time and energy not doing anything. Sometimes a whole day goes by and I wonder what I have really accomplished. We need to be diligent in using our time wisely. Making sure we get accomplished what we need to and doing that well. What makes up good work ethic?

  • Behave professionally
  • Organized
  • High Productivity
  • Team Work
  • Cooperation
  • Determined to Succeed
  • Consistent
  • High Quality Work

These items do not change over the years or with generations. Up above I talked about how I piddle sometimes, one thing that really helps me is making a list of items I need to accomplish. It keeps me on track or organized. Making a list also allows me to see what I have accomplished during the day as I start checking items off the list. That’s important for me. Making a list also helps my productivity because I’m not wasting time thinking about what I need to do next, I just go to the next item on the list. At the end of the day, I spend 5-10 minutes going through what I need to accomplish the next day and put it on my list. Sometimes I’m working and think of something that needs to go on the list and add it then. Usually when I spend that 5-10 minutes thinking about my list, I already have a pretty good size list, so I just mark which items I need to accomplish the next day. If I get those accomplished, I start working on the other items.

At the end of the day, I think the Lord blesses a good work ethic. We might not end up rich by the world standards, but he will take care to make sure our needs are met. We always need to remember we are really working for. . . the Lord.

Influences on Leadership

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.–Proverbs 31:4-5

I’m not going to be discussing drinking in this post in great detail, that’s a whole post by itself. However, in this verse Lemuel was discouraging the king/leader from drinking as it impacted their ability to carry out their duties. I want to discuss how we let influences impact our leadership and decision making, whether that is in our homes, workplace or communities. First, we need to see what the roles are of a leader

Impact of our physical and emotional state

As leaders, we need to have a clear mind, as being a leader involves a lot of decision making. There are many things that can influence our mental thinking. What we eat can impact how we think. The stress of our jobs or lives can impact how we think or react to situations. Exercising can change how we deal with problems. Our emotions and our physical state can greatly impact our mental ability and that leads to our decision making.

How many times have we been hungry and we start getting grouchy? I can tell you at work, some of my worst decisions have been when I’m hungry. I don’t have my focus in the right place. My concentration is on making myself not feel hungry. We need to have a proper diet to feed our mind. Exercise helps us have more energy, to be more alert. Being alert helps us make better decisions.

I mentioned stress earlier affecting our decision making. Stress has a tendency to make our perspective change, which changes how we lead. Many times we’re more easy going when we are happy and quite the opposite when we are in bad moods.

What does this have to do with leadership?

Just as Lemuel was talking about wine influencing the judgment of kings, how we treat our bodies and cope with our emotions affects how we lead and the decisions we make. It determines how we treat people. When we’re making decisions, especially important ones, we really need to be aware of our mindset. Are we feeling physically fine? Do we feel hungry or physically worn down? How are our emotions? Are we happy, angry, sad, irritated, etc? All of these physical and emotional feelings influence our decisions making. There have been many times when I’m at work, I’ve pushed back making a decision because I knew I wasn’t in a good mood. Sometimes we don’t have that option, and being aware of how you feel physically or emotionally can help guard against making a bad decision. I know when I feel tired, I don’t care as much even though I know I should. In that case, I know I have to focus more. If it hasn’t been a good day, I know that I can be more harsh if I have to have a discussion with an employee about performance. In those situations I question myself on if I am being too harsh. Am I fairly critiquing their performance?

Although Lemuel was talking about wine, we need to be careful what other influences impact our judgment when leading or making decisions. If we’re careful when we know we’re not at our best, we’ll end up reducing the amount of bad decisions we make and be better leaders.

Where Are You Seeking Favor?

Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgement commeth from the Lord. Proverbs 29:26

We have all seen it in the workplace, those people that always sucking up to the boss. They can’t do enough to please their boss. In fact, they become slaves to what their boss wants. Should we be helpful to our bosses? Yes, as men we need to be good employees. We need to work hard. But we should always remember that the Lord is the one that will have the final judgment on our life. At the end it will not matter what our bosses think, only what God thinks.

We should do our jobs and be hard workers, but we should always remember that what we do is for the Lord.