“No man can read the Bible and be lazy. Christianity increases a man’s wants, and therefore increases his capacity for labor.” — Booker T. Washington
Among the many Bible virtues to be incorporated into our daily lives is that of hard work. From the beginning, God commanded: “Six days you shall labor” (Exodus 20:9). Notice that God does not say “can labor” but rather “shall labor”—God said to work hard six days and then have a day of rest. For centuries, the work week was six days, but in the past century was reduced to five, and across Europe and in many parts of America, the push is being made to reduce it to four; the number of hours of work actually performed in any week has been steadily declining. There is a push for less work and more free time, but the Bible encourages just the opposite. Notice some of the many verses praising hard work:
• In all your labor there is profit (Proverbs 14:23).
• He who tills his land will have plenty of bread (Proverbs 12:14).
• And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him (Proverbs 12:14).
• He must labor, performing with his own hands what is good so that he will have something to share with one who has need (Ephesians 4:28).
• Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and … work with your hands… so that you will …not be in any need (1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12).
• He also who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys (Proverbs 18:9).
John Jay said that America had become prosperous because the spirit of hard work in the early colonists had properly been joined with that of virtue and morality:
“Under the auspices and direction of Divine Providence, (our) forefathers removed to the wilds and wilderness of America. By their industry (hard work) they made it a fruitful, and by their virtue a happy country.”
Because hard work (what Founders term industry) was such an important Biblical trait; they inculcated it in their children from their earliest years.
Today… “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” – Colossians 3:23