In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23
Labor in the context of today’s study refers to any physical or mental work that people engage in, either to get a wage or voluntarily. Work is a creation of God; He Himself is a worker, showing us how noble work is. Although He is perfect and does not need work to improve Him, but like a Father, He is always working for the good of us His children, ordering all of nature to ensure that all is well with us.
Work is not a product of the fall, neither is it a curse. It is God’s way of productively engaging man; causing him to use his creative energies to improve his lot and his environment, and to maximize his potential. So, work is a good thing.
Our text separates the fruit of work from the fruit of talk. One leads to wealth, the other to want. Most talkers are not industrious; they live in dreamland and just engage in idle and unproductive talk. Diligent labor on the other hand, either the labor of the hands or head, is a proven way to riches; but idle talking, which many waste their precious time with, will bring a man to poverty. There is a divine connection between work and profit; whether voluntary or paid because God blesses the work of our hands (what we do). Therefore, as Christians, we shouldn’t be idle but find something to do; and if we are already doing something, let’s do it well with all our hearts.
Sometimes people complain that they don’t have a job, because they are waiting for work that will pay them or one that will pay them fat salaries – but God will ensure that no honest and diligent labor goes unrewarded. So, get busy, rather than stay idle, take a job with a low pay, or volunteer your services for free. This way, you will learn creativity, devotion to business, discipline, character, service, people-skills, develop competence and become a pro. Eventually, God will ensure that you are ‘gainfully’ employed, because you’ve shown that you are faithful with little; so, you can be trusted with much more (Luke 16:10).
Consider your work an honorable calling and a blessing, not a burden. Hard work is a blessing to the man who works. Putting yourself to work will breed in you, endurance, diligence, strength of will, optimism, contentment, and several other virtues which the idle man will never know. It is said that, “The devil tempts every man, but an idle man tempts the devil.” Don’t be in the category of an idle man; apply yourself to do honest labor, it will bring you great advantages in the long run (Proverbs 22:29).
I believe in the power of honest labor. I do not eat the bread of idleness, but I put my hands to the plough and work. Whatever I find to do, I do with all my heart and unto the Lord. I will no longer make excuses for why certain things are not happening for me. I receive wisdom from God to create work, and thereby create wealth. My genius is coming out, my gifts will make a way for me and I will live long to enjoy the fruits of my labor, in Jesus name!