Monday, February 13, 2012

Hard work...

Week 7:

Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

I remember when this verse first jumped out at me.  We were listening to a former pro basketball player as he did a demonstration and gave a talk for the High School kids at the school where I work.  He talked about the time he started playing college basketball and how he was not getting much court time.  In that situation he was whining and griping about his playing time.  His coach knew it, so he got even less playing time.  He eventually ran across this passage and it stuck with him.  He began to change his attitude and work harder in practice.  He stayed after for extra drills and shooting.  Low and behold, his playing time increased.  God spoke to him through that verse and it came to life for him.

I have seen this time and again in my life as well.  When I sit on the “sidelines” of life and complain, nothing much gets done.  When I put my effort into what I am doing…amazing, my attitude is better and things get moving.  I have watched it happen with athletes I have coached as well.   I have watched or listened to the complainers while the hard workers played more.  Some of the complainers stayed complaining.  They never got it.  And, they played very little and blamed me for it. 

That leads me to a side note.  I have noticed that those who continue to blame others for their circumstance are never satisfied and never “get ahead”.  They change jobs frequently blaming the boss, the company, the co-workers, etc.  Or they hop churches citing poor worship, poor preaching, poor ministries, etc.   However, these people never look into the mirror and see that if they would just change their attitude, things might just get better.  Know anyone like that?  I have to watch myself and check to see if that is what I am doing…blaming others for my circumstance instead of looking at my own attitude.  When we act like this, we may not be in financial poverty, but we are in emotional and attitudinal poverty for sure.

I do want to note that the profit talked about here may not be merely monetary either.  The profit may be peace of mind, compassion, a new attitude, a new opportunity, etc.  The next time you catch yourself feeling you are getting the raw end of a deal or you feel yourself blaming others for your circumstances remember this verse:   “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

  1. What is the first thought that came to mind for you when you read this passage?
  2. How do you relate to this passage?
  3. Describe a situation where others are being blamed for an individual’s circumstance.
  4. Where are you blaming others for your circumstance(s)?
  5. Ask God this week to point out to you where this verse can apply.
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