WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 21, 2021
TOPIC: INCULCATE HARD WORK IN YOUR CHILDREN
BY T. O. BANSO
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep — So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11 New King James Version).
We live in an age where some people say that success in life is not by working hard work but by working smart. Thus, some youths see smart work (without hard work) as a shortcut and the surest, and, probably, the only way to success! Unfortunately, their definition of smart work is dishonesty, deceit, cheating, and the like. This is different from the real definition, which has to do with efficiency and not criminality.
You must teach your children not to buy this lie. You must not allow them to believe that to advance in life or achieve their goals, they don’t need to work hard. Of course, hard work is not the only thing they need to succeed or advance in life, but it is not negotiable. Hard work is a necessary ingredient for success. Discourage your children from looking for any formula or formulae, or so-called smart work that excuses them from hard work.
The Bible talks about hard work and wisdom in different scriptures, as some of the requirements for success in any enterprise. It forbids engaging in dubious practices. Thus, when we talk about hard work in the context of the teachings of the Bible, we are not suggesting hard work based on foolishness! You use your brain as you work hard. “The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city!” (Ecclesiastes 10:15 New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it thus: “Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they have no strength for even the simplest tasks.”
Teach your children to imbibe the spirit of hard work founded on wisdom. “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens” (Proverbs 3:19 New King James Version). But the Bible also tells us that God finished the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day. “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:1-2 New King James Version).
Warn your children against engaging in sharp or dubious practices called ‘smartness’ in their quest for success in life. It destroys. It results in shame or humiliation when their dishonest schemes or practices are eventually exposed. Those who thought they were smart are then proven to be fools. It’s just a matter of time.
Teach your children not to be lazy. They should not be sleeping when their colleagues are working. They should not deceive themselves looking for easy and dishonest means to succeed when their colleagues are burning the midnight oil studying in school or at home, or faithfully investing their time in their office work or career.
Proverbs 10:5 says, “A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame” (New Living Translation). Don’t allow your child to be sleeping when he is supposed to be working – reading, washing, etc. let the right thing be done at the right time. As the proverb goes, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Your child should not be sleeping when he is supposed to have woken up and get ready for school. Don’t overindulge your child thereby encouraging laziness. This is not love. Whoever does so will regret it in the future.
Laziness will make a child waste opportunities, as seen in the second part of Proverbs 10:5. It says, “a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame” (New Living Translation). Because he has a hatred for hard work but a love for sleep, he allows opportunities to slip away.
Proverbs 6:6-11 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep — So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (New King James Version).
Instead of working hard, doing legitimate work, some greedy children are looking for or learning some get-rich-quick schemes, which make them run afoul of the law. Some are currently in prison serving various jail terms because of their involvement in such criminal ventures. They have fallen from grace. “The trustworthy will get a rich reward. But the person who wants to get rich quick will only get into trouble” (Proverbs 28:20 New Living Translation). Also, verse 22 says, “A greedy person tries to get rich quick, but it only leads to poverty” (New Living Translation).
Don’t tolerate laziness by your children. Ecclesiastes 10:18 says, “Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks” (New King James Version). Things degenerate under a lazy person. “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15 New King James Version). Some children are not doing well in school and at work because of laziness. They must change.
Be an example of hard work to your children; talk to them about it. When your children have grown to a certain age, let them join you to do some household chores or assign the chores to them, boys and girls. Don’t let them be watching television or playing video games while you’re working or preparing food for the family. They may frown at it but don’t let that bother you. If you don’t get them involved, this is how laziness starts.
Teach your children to always work hard whether at home or in school, church, or office. The slothful will not make it in life. “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer” (Proverbs 18:9 New King James Version). Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor” (New King James Version). To be diligent means to be hard-working, industrious, etc. Let your children cultivate this attribute early in life.
Despite being the Son of God, Jesus was an example of diligence. That’s one of the reasons that He fulfilled His ministry. He didn’t fold His arms or sleep throughout the day and night, hoping that He will fulfil His ministry. No. He said in Luke 2:49, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’” (New King James Version).
Similarly, He said in John 5:17, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working’” (New King James Version). In other words, He emulated His Father. Let your children learn hard work from you. “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29 King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to train up my children to be hard working. My children will not be lazy; they will imbibe hard work early in life. They will not become criminals. As my children work diligently, they will stand before kings, not ordinary people in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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