RISE AND SHINE CHRISTIAN SERVICES
April 25, 2009
Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Isa 41:15
Succeeding On the Job 3
When it comes to having a work ethic, "Go to the ant, consider its ways and be wise" Proverbs 6:6. These tiny giants of industry teach us valuable principles for living. Observe three things about them:
1. The ant "has no commander, no overseer or ruler" Proverbs 6:7. Nobody has to get it out of bed in the morning or coax it to get moving. Nobody supervises its work or enforces quality standards on it. Nobody needs to micromanage its time on the job or make sure it starts punctually, puts in a full day, pulls its weight and doesn't quit early. It's self-motivated and driven by its own high standards, not by rules, regulations or the fear of being fired.
2. It "stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest" (Proverbs 6:8 NIV). While everybody else is complaining about the heat (the weather, the economy, politics, etc.), the hard working ant just keeps preparing for the future. Later, in the more moderate temperatures of harvest time, it continues gathering. Disregarding the conditions, it works. Then while others are struggling to survive it feasts on the fruit of its labour. "Watch and learn," is God's counsel.
3. The ant is no haphazard, disorganized drifter wandering around aimlessly, looking for something to do. He knows exactly what he's there for and where and how to do it. He's goal-directed, focused, determined and unstoppable. You can't keep a good ant down! "Consider… and be wise" Proverbs 6:6.
"But my job's a dead end," you say. As long as you're in this job do it "heartily, as to the Lord" Colossians 3:23. Prove yourself where you are and God will promote you to better things.
If you want to succeed in life practice honesty! One poll cited by newsman Paul Harvey stated that 40% of American workers admitted stealing on the job, and 20% felt justified! Their rationalizing includes: "Everybody's doing it, why shouldn't I?" "The boss can afford it, he won't miss it." "It's only small stuff, it won't make any difference." "The company owes me; I'm just taking what's mine." "I deserve it, I've worked hard and never been acknowledged." What does God's Word say about this? "The wicked... earns deceptive wages." God says deceiving your employer by stealing time and materials or delivering an inferior product and service, is "wicked". That's strong language! Of all people, employers and customers should be able to trust followers of Christ to be honest, work for their wages and provide the highest quality service.
And for the record, it's not smart to steal, even if you don't get caught. "Ill-gotten gains do not profit" Pr 10:2. You may take it but you won't benefit from it. "Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles" Pr 13:11. You can't do the wrong thing and get the right result. Not only will you have trouble, you'll bring trouble on those who love and need you most. "He who profits illicitly troubles his own house" Pr 15:27. The job loss, damaged reputation, humiliation, legal costs and consequences are a 'bill' the whole family pays for, often ending in shame and divorce and affecting several generations. Your spouse deserves an honest partner. Your children deserve a role model they can emulate; confident the path you walk is safe for them to follow.
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