Saturday, 20 May 2023
Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished,
But he who gathers by labor will increase. -Proverbs 13:11
Proverbs is full of wise sayings and the wise will do well to heed them! Today we have a contrast between the prosperity obtained through hard work versus that gotten by dishonesty. God hates dishonest scales as said in Prov.11:1 “The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.” Dishonest scales are the measures a man uses to his advantage to make gains for himself. Unfair means which cannot be rightly justified, to gain riches are practised by many in our day; but they hardly realize that such greedy gain doesn’t benefit. Prov.23:5[NLT] says: “In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.” Wealth gained by dishonesty cannot profit!
The famous American President Abraham Lincoln was nick-named “Honest Abe” for his life of unflinching integrity and honesty. As a young man he did odd jobs for a living, one of which was being a store clerk in the village of New Salem. One story about him goes like this: Lincoln once took 6¼ cents too much from a customer. He did not say to himself, "never mind such little things," but walked three miles that evening after closing his store to return the money.* Such honest acts are hard to come by in our day but a Christian’s testimony is enhanced by such character.
Quite a lot is spoken about hard work and laziness. The NLT version of our key verse reads: “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.” The get-rich-quick schemes are out in the world today luring people and many fall for it but many come to sorrow and trouble with such schemes.
On the other hand, there are those who work hard and gather little by little— the Lord blesses their hard labour. Prov.10:22: “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.” Good, honest work has its dividends. When the Lord blesses the work of our hands, we can enjoy His benefits. Psalm 128 talks of the blessing of a man who reverences the LORD. Psalm 128:2 says: “When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.”
Coming to the New Testament, Paul admonishes the Thessalonian believers not to be lazy but work for their living: “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2Thes.3:7-10) He was coming against those who were idling away their time, thinking the Lord would come soon and so there was no need to work. Paul modelled a life of hard work and toil in the Lord’s vineyard. He worked with his hands at tent-making while doing the gospel work alongside. He encouraged people not to be lazy but put their hands to work.
It is God’s principle that we be diligent and do the work assigned to us with honesty and sincerity. Col.3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” When we do so, the Lord will reward us- He will surely prosper and bless us and also make us a blessing to many.
Quote for the Day: Read the Bible. Work hard and honestly. And don't complain. ~Billy Graham