Hard Work Pays Off
I had a dressing table and bench that was my Granny's that needed painting. As soon as I mentioned it, Mike started with the conversation I could have predicted. "I'm not painting that Jill. Why can't we get rid of it? It's old." The real truth is that Mike knows I do not take my time when painting. His words are always, "you will booger it up." He is right. I don't want to take the time to sand something. I don't want to take the time to use painter's tape. And then as Mike says, I "slap" the paint on and have lots of "drippage". Mike often comes full circle as he did that night. He went upstairs to "set things up" for me and by the time I went up, he was almost finished painting! He told me I could finish the second coat the next morning. When I finally went upstairs he had almost finished it and it looks wonderful! I was too lazy to get the good results.
I have to remember this lesson of hard work as I follow other dreams. What does God say about working? Before sin, God put man in the garden of Eden to work it. Genesis 2: 15, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." He also made the man a helper. Genesis 2: 18, "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" We were meant to work. Hard work is honorable. It gives us respect for ourselves and others. We honor God when we work hard. God works on our behalf but also expects our focused efforts. I saw a sign recently that said, "God is in control, but He doesn't expect you to lean on a shovel and pray for a hole."
I thought about all of the businesses who cannot stay open their "normal" hours due to lack of employees willing to work. 2 Thessalonians 3: 8-10, "...nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.'” Proverbs 12: 24, "Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave." NLT This is so true. I do not want to be dependent on anyone else if I can work! Proverbs 21: 5, "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty."
Paul was a tent maker in Thessalonica, where some in the church were idle, refusing to work. They were waiting for Christ’s return. Paul felt they were trying to sound spiritual but they were lazy. He and Timothy were examples of hard work. 1 Thessalonians 2: 9, "Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." 2 Thessalonians 3: 7-8, "For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you." This is what he expected of Christians. 1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12, "...and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." Let's work hard so that we can be a blessing to others and not a burden to others!
Proverbs 10: 4, "Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich." When we reap the fruit of our hard work we should fall to our knees in thanksgiving to God. We can show our gratitude through our generous giving. As we work we must keep our focus off the money. We must trust that reward and compensation will come if our work is done to glorify God. God is our boss and we are working for Him. He has a grand design for our life. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" As children of God, the way we work, the quality and quantity of our work, is a reflection of our love toward God!!