The Eighth Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016 

Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. Rules Two through Seven involve factors that enable a productive life. All are important, but the Seventh insures that they will happen:

Work Hard:

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,

and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.  Proverbs 6:6-11

The sluggard is a key person in the Proverbs. As the name suggests, he is lazy and sluggish. “The wise man will learn while there is time. He knows that the sluggard is no freak, but, as often as not, an ordinary man who has made too many excuses, too many refusals and too many postponements.”

Kidner, D. (1973). The Proverbs An Introduction and Commentary (p.40). Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press.

The ant is a picture of hard work. They don’t have anyone to tell them what to do, which makes them a classic example of self-motivation. Preparing in the summer and gathering in the harvest. She works today for a future payoff. Meanwhile, the lazy person’s excuses and daily delays have the opposite effect. There is no future payoff, and what they might have gained is stolen by a poor work ethic.

People who have wisdom understand that this could be them. Fear of failure is a great motivator.

Jesus said:      “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”  John 5:17

Jesus said this when the Jewish leaders persecuted Him for working on the Sabbath. He also led by example: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”  Mark 1:35

The Seventh Rule of Life: Work Hard

Dr James P Porowski     Licensed Psychologist     Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary    Raleigh NC     April 7, 2016