Solomon - “Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.” (Proverbs 22:29 LB)
After the Grammy awards in 1983, singer/songwriter Donna Summer went to an afterparty at Chasen’s restaurant in Hollywood, California. During the party, she went to the bathroom and found the bathroom attendant, Onetta Johnson, asleep at her post. Onetta apologized for falling asleep and explained that she worked two jobs and was really tired. Summer thought to herself, “Wow, she really works hard for her money.” Later that evening, Donna started thinking about Onetta and wrote the lyrics for the hit song, “She works hard for the money…So you better treat her right.” As a surprise to many, Summer posted a picture of Onetta Johnson on the back of her album cover. The video for the song featured women as nurses, housekeepers, and waitresses working hard before joining together to dance with Summer. The song soon became an instant hit and served as a tribute for hard-working women everywhere.
Working hard may seem to be a lost art in today’s world, but the old Smith-Barney slogan, We Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - We Earn It is still true. In fact, it’s God’s plan. Living the Good Life means working hard to advance our careers. However, many people today have forsaken the value of hard work to pursue illegitimate, ungodly, or get-rich-quick schemes in order to make money. However, we learn from the Bible that “Dishonest money brings grief to the whole family” (Proverbs 15:27) and that “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; but wealth from hard work grows over time.” (Proverbs 13:11). We also read in Proverbs that “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
When someone isn’t a hard worker, they find themselves living far from successful lives. In fact, they sometimes find themselves with nothing. Solomon, the wealthy and wise king, writes, “But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.” (Proverbs 6:9-11) Paul Powell, author of The Gospel of Giving, writes “It is often true in our society that the haves and the have nots can be traced to the dids and the did nots.”
Ask yourself this question: Which kind of person do I wish to be - a hard worker or a lazybones? The Apostle Paul writes, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24) We should all do our best to work hard at all we do, knowing this will be pleasing to the Lord and good for us.
Think for a moment about your life. Would others consider you to be a hard worker, a lazy person, or someone who does enough to just get by? What could you do to change the perspective that others might have of you? If you’re leading your family through this devotion time, have a conversation with your family about the value of hard work. Then ask them the same questions you asked yourself above.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for all You have given me. Help me to work hard in order to honor You for all of your blessings in my life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.