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
- High Productivity
- Team Work
- Determined to Succeed
- 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.