Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Proverbs 27: 23-27 Work hard and work smart (Part II)

23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
    give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure forever,
    and a crown is not secure for all generations.
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
    and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
    and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
    and to nourish your female servants.

This is our second day on these verses, because there is so much here for us. Yesterday I noted that Solomon was telling us that " Whether our business is indoors or outdoors, large or small, we must apply our minds and our hearts to it." 
Let's look today at some Biblical reasons for that. 

I think the first thing that this group of verses says to us, is that we should have some business to do in this world, and not live in idleness. On this blog, we try to stay out of the political arena most of the time, but I think in our present day we can see that not everyone wants to work and provide for themselves and their families. Many people are indeed disabled, unemployed, or elderly --- these people need the help of family, friends, or the local church. For those who have not received help from these avenues, some sort of assistance is beneficial. However, we probably all agree that the "system" is being abused by many who are able to work but simply desire to avoid that responsibility; instead of working, they live a life of idleness and survive on government assistance. Christians have a responsibility to support their families, and when they are blessed with more than they need, to use some of it to give others a hand up.

These verses also speak to the issue of knowing our own business, and not meddling in someone else's business! It is wise and well for us to understand what is needed for our particular job to be completed, and to let others do theirs without interference from us. We may think we know the best way for them to complete their tasks, but we can be mistaken -- and the time we take to try to "set them straight," is time taken away from doing our own job well.

Thirdly, we should keep our own eyes on our business, and not turn it over to someone else. Who better to mind the particulars and "inspect our herds" than ourselves? We have the final responsibility for the outcome, so we should shoulder the task, as well.

We must take considerate and thoughtful care of our business, not allowing any opportunity to slip by. It's good to do each task in the proper time and order, and take every advantage that presents itself.

Lastly, we must be diligent and we must take pains with our business opportunities -- not just sitting down and thinking of ways to do things better and more efficiently, but getting up and doing the work that must be done. 

Are you tired yet? Sometimes we think and talk about "working" and "doing" and we get a little apprehensive that we'll not be "up" for the task at hand!  
..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 . . . I Thessalonians 4:11 
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . .  Colossians 3:23
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  I Corinthians 15:58
We've been promised that our labor is not in vain . . . let's work harder AND smarter! 


CATachresis said...

I do agree with this in principle. In the UK at the moment the government is trying to redress the situation where there are now so many on benefits (what you call welfare) that the system is crumbling. Sadly, in order to "encourage" people back to work, some who are really sick are being deemed fit even when they have a terminal illness! As you say, people used to look after their own families and do their best to provide, but when the state came in to help those who couldn't help themselves, the whole thing became open to abuse! It's the mindset that needs to change and I believe only a biblical understanding and worldview is the answer. Good post.

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