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Expect To Work Hard

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, but will not even bring it back to his mouth.
–Proverbs 19:24

If you want to be successful in life, expect to work hard. You have to hand it to Solomon; he had a great sense of humor. In Proverbs 19:24, he wrote, “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, but will not even bring it back to his mouth.”

Let me illustrate what Solomon was talking about here. Let’s say you are on your way to lunch when you see a homeless person. You realize they are hungry, so you do the Christian thing and not only give them something to eat, but you decide to invite them to join you for lunch at a nice steakhouse. You bring your newfound friend to the restaurant. When you are seated, you say to your friend, “You can order anything you want.” He takes you up on the offer and orders a 24-ounce sirloin steak, a loaded baked potato, and a Caesar salad. Soon, a sizzling plate comes out. After you say a blessing, your friend starts cutting his meat. Once he has cut his meat, he takes his fork, sticks it in that juicy piece of steak, brings the fork to his mouth . . . and then he stops. You say, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you putting the fork in your mouth?” He says, “Oh, that would take too much effort.” That is what Solomon is describing here. The sluggard will not even bring the fork back to his mouth. Now, that is lazy.

We may laugh at that example, but we all have a little bit of sluggard in us. Let me illustrate that for you. How many of you know of one thing you could start doing that would make you more successful in your business or at your job? How many of you would say, “There is one thing that I know if I would start doing it, I would be more successful”? How many of you would say when you think about your marriage, “There is one thing I could do right now in my marriage that would help me have a better relationship with my spouse”? How many of you would say, “There is one thing I know I could do that would improve my health and give me better quality, and perhaps quantity, of life”? How many of you would say, “There is one thing that I know if I started doing it, it would improve my relationship with God”?

Here is my question for you: Why aren’t you doing it? If we all can think of things that would make us more successful in our business and give us more money, better health, a better relationship with our mate, and a better relationship with God, then why aren’t we doing those things? For most of us, the answer is, “I am not doing it because it would require too much effort. It would cause me to work too hard.” If that is your excuse, then I have some great news for you today. You are not going to die from hard work. You will die of something, but it will not be from hard work. Successful people understand the importance of working hard.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “To Succeed More, Fail More” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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