Here are twenty practical principles from Proverbs to motivate you to work hard and avoid laziness. As you read through these principles, see if you can find the origin of each principle in the book of Proverbs. If you’re having trouble finding them, click here to read the article with the references listed.
1. Remember, working hard is first a mindset (and so is laziness).
2. Working hard and staying on task is a matter of self-control.
3. Get up early. Try to stand up right when the alarm clock goes off.
4. Do hard jobs first and easier jobs second; then you can have fun.
5. Love what you do as a vocation, regardless of what it is. Ask God to grant His blessing and favor in your work (cf. the account of Joseph in Genesis 39).
6. Don’t try to make money by deceit or fraud. If you do, God will punish you, sooner or later.
7. Be honest with your employer about how much you work. If you’re lazily collecting a paycheck, that’s stealing.
8. Don’t work so much, however, that you need to re-introduce yourself to your family. Strive for a healthy balance between your work and your family life.
9. If you travel too much (according to your wife’s/family’s honest, loving assessment), seek to curb your travel, if possible. Perhaps another position would provide greater harmony in your home.
10. If your wife is regularly wondering how the bills are going to be paid, and you’re not taking initiative to lead, confess your failure in leadership and take control of your family finances.
11. Treat your work (house cleaning, school work, or whatever it is) as though you will reap a harvest from your labors.
12. Don’t work only in order to receive. Rather, find satisfaction in simply doing good work for God and men.
13. Lazy people often assume that others owe them a handout (whether they’ve worked hard or not). Don’t fall into an entitlement mentality.
14. When you are asked to serve in some way, don’t attempt to take the path of least resistance (because of laziness).
15. Consider how much more would be accomplished for the kingdom of Christ if you worked as hard in ministry as you do for a paycheck.
16. Consider how your employer would evaluate you if his assessment were based on your work ethic in ministry. (Would you be fired?)
17. If you are a lazy person, or if you tend toward laziness in certain areas of your life, confess your sin to God. Whether at home, at work, or in ministry, admit to God that you haven’t been working as hard as you should (He knows already)HeH, and ask Him to cleanse you from sin.
18. Abandoning laziness and growing in diligence means you must be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Here are some practical steps you can take:
a. Ask the Spirit to make you a hard worker for God.
b. Read, re-read, and even memorize the proverbs that pertain to both laziness and work.
c. Trust God to overcome any bad habits you’ve developed regarding work and diligence.
d. When you are tempted to be lazy, seek the Spirit’s help in prayer and remind yourself what the Word of God teaches.
19. Show how the Proverbs on diligence and laziness are important by reading them to your family and then applying the biblical principles. Discuss with your family how you can hold one another accountable to be diligent workers for God and men.
20. Ask God to give you opportunities to become a hard worker, and then look for Him to answer in every realm of your life (home, work, school, ministry, etc.).
Grace to You