An Investment that Pays Dividends

  Hard work is an investment that pays dividends.   The Book of Proverbs makes the case for this conclusion in two ways. Negatively, it shows the debt that laziness incurs. Positively, it shows the profit that diligence accrues. Let’s take a close look at two proverbs that make this case.   Proverbs 24:30-34 makes a negative case for hard work by showing the devastating results of laziness.   I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone … Continue reading An Investment that Pays Dividends


  The dictionary defines a slacker as “someone who avoids doing something, especially work or military service.” While the Book of Proverbs doesn’t say much about draft dodgers, it says quite a bit to about people who avoid hard work. Consider these specific proverbs:   As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is a sluggard to those who send him (10:26).   If employees or coworkers have ever hindered you from accomplishing a job on time, you know exactly what this proverb means. Their slackertude (slacker + attitude) is physically irritating, not to mention embarrassing in … Continue reading Slackertude

The Causes of Wealth and Poverty

  Why are some people wealthy while other people are poor?   There are several possible answers to that question, but the Book of Proverbs emphasizes this insight: Hard work leads to wealth, but laziness leads to poverty. Consider in this matter the following proverbs:   Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son (10:4-5).   He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment (12:11).   Diligent hands will … Continue reading The Causes of Wealth and Poverty

Laziness vs. Hard Work

  My dad is the hardest working man I know. He’s 66 years old, but he can work men half his age under the table. Like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps going and going and going from dawn till dusk. Some people work hard, others work smart; my dad does both. I get tired just watching him.   I’ve never asked dad why he’s so hard working, but I think it has to do with his childhood. My grandparents were godly people. They labored hard in the fields of the Lord as missionaries and pastors of small churches. But they … Continue reading Laziness vs. Hard Work

Leadership and Self-Leadership (Proverbs 31:1-9)

  The Book of Proverbs typically presents itself as a father giving advice to his son about how to live the truly good life.[*] But in Proverbs 31:1-9, it is a mother who speaks to her son. She is no ordinary woman, however; and he is no ordinary man. She is the queen mother, and he is the king. Let’s take a close look at what she says, for she teaches him (and us) several important lessons about leadership and self-leadership.   The sayings of King Lemuel — an oracle his mother taught him:   “O my son, O son … Continue reading Leadership and Self-Leadership (Proverbs 31:1-9)


  What does the Book of Proverbs teach us about being good citizens?   It teaches us, first of all, that good citizens have good hearts.   He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend (22:11).   A citizen with a pure heart is a person of integrity. He or she is guided by the highest values and motivated by the best intentions. This integrity overflows into action, specifically speech but also action. The pure-hearted person speaks graciously about and to the people God has placed in positions of political … Continue reading Citizenship