The old maxim ‘hard work pays off’ still rings true, even in our world where the entitlement attitude reigns. I was waiting for my beverage at our local coffee shop and two young twenty somethings were waiting as well. They were talking about the end of school and what they were going to do. One spoke up, “How great you got handed that job. You’re smart, you’ve put in your time at school, you deserve it…” The other guy cut him off and said, “I don’t know about being all that smart. I struggled through quite a few classes, but I did NOT get ‘handed’ this job. I came in early, left late, did more than they asked of me, and I really worked hard for it…” The conversation continued as they walked out. I smiled because in this world of entitlement, this testimony of hard work was refreshing!
Some of you may have heard the stories that many of the amazing people of history were not handed their successes. They overcame obstacles, defeats, failures, disappointments and worked hard. Walt Disney was fired from a job and said he lacked imagination. Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark, but she kept surfing and won at the national level. J.K. Rowling struggled much of her life and was rejected some twelve times until one small publishing house took a risk on a book about a boy named Harry Potter. Colonel Sanders had a tough life and, at 62 years old, worked hard to create Kentucky Fried Chicken. I could go on, but these people did not get handed their success. They worked hard and put out that extra effort. It is the hustle of going beyond expectation and the grit of endurance.
God encourages us to work hard
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
To work heartily is to give it your all, to extend effort. Yet, in this effort to see the higher calling of God, that God has given you the abilities you have, to put them to use for your good and for the good of humanity. So be the best teacher, doctor, sales person, engineer, nurse, manager, construction worker, city worker, church worker, volunteer you can be and supply a bit of extra effort.
In the extra efforts of hard work there is a satisfaction.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
It is like a runner’s high of completing a race, where we have done our best, investing the efforts of ‘sweat-equity’ and feel a sense of accomplishment. Because hard work pays off.
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
We are to follow the example of the hard working woman honored in Proverbs 31:10-31 and the ant in Proverbs 6:6-8. Hard work is what it is; hard, difficult, awkward, tough, challenging, grueling, and arduous work! Yes the lazy river of entitlement is appealing, but it leads to nowhere, and away from the good and blessing to humanity God created you for. So…
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…
I was inspired by that young man to work hard at my marriage, loving my family, the job God has given me and every other area of my life…and yes to take times of rest in Lord along the way, but when I work, to work hard. Let’s do this!
As we work hard, we do need times to pause and enjoy God. Church is a great place learn about God and be challenged. If you do not already attend a church, we would love to invite you to Cypress Church or one or our branch churches. Our web site has all the information for all our campuses: www.cypresschurch.net . We would love to connect with you.
Seeking to be work hard along with you,