Vol.III No.II Pg.4
March 1966

A Christian Works Hard

Robert F. Turner

And there goes my tremendous popular appeal! I can hear someone say, "he's quit preaching, and gone to meddling". But I must stick with my gun. A hard worker is not necessarily a Christian, but a good Christian is also a good worker; for good reasons.

A "sluggard" is one habitually lazy; a drone. Solomon said, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise." (Prov. 6:6) He describes the sluggard "as vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes" "to them that send him." (Prov. 10:26) In Eccl. 9:10 he says, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; --" advice sorely needed in our "get by" world.

The Christian has the right attitude toward work. Paul wrote, "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." (Col. 3:22-f; Eph. 6:5-f) A Christian works "heartily" -- puts his "heart" into it. He approaches the job with joy, with positiveness which begets vigor. And the task is lighter because of this.

The Christian's motive for work is high. He works "as unto the Lord" knowing there is a Master above his earthly master. Then in Eph. 4:28 Paul writes, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth". Here is a human facet to work-motive. It takes "self" out of the picture, and adds nobleness of purpose. There is nothing undignified about this kind of work, be it banking or ditch-digging. It is an essential part of a rich, full life.

Paul wrote, "Let him steal no more" -- which may point up the fact that a lazy man is often a thief. He may steal by stealth -- killing time at the water cooler, leaning on the hoe, or working only when the boss is in. He thus accepts wages under false pretense; insulting the name of Christ. Or, he may commit armed robbery, with an unfair, pressure-bought union arrangement as his gun. This is not a blanket attack on labor unions; but a reminder to boss and worker alike that might does not make right, in secular or spiritual affairs.

It is a sick society that no longer feels pride in accomplishment, nor considers the completion of a job a part of the reward of labor. The challenge of the task should be stimulating -- a mountain that must be climbed because it is there. I do not know how our "wages by the hour" economy could be changed -- but there is something basically wrong in its tendency. It places no premium upon accomplishment. It does not prompt an unskilled worker to improve. It encourages "put in your time" instead of "get the job done". And blanket wage scales tend to favor the sulky, "good-for-nothing" "let John do it" employees.

But this economy does put the "Christian" worker to the test. He can prove himself a true follower of the Lord "working with his hands;" or prove himself a miserable failure at applying Christian principles to life.