During the summer of 2015, I got a job working for a tile installation company. On a certain day near the end of the season, I woke up at 5:15 like every other workday, got ready, and left around 7:15 for the jobsite where we were currently working. It was a massive 7,000-square-foot mansion built next to a small lake. None of the flooring had been set, and there was also more work to do on the shower walls. Joining the floor-setting crew that I worked with was another group that began setting up the drywall in the showers. There was a man, probably in his early 20s, working for this drywall crew. I noticed him because of his droopy shoulders, pouty face and overall negative demeanor. And I wasn’t the only one who saw that.
Throughout the course of the day, it was evident to see that this man had a weak work ethic. He would slowly measure the wall, stare blankly at the tape measure, and then walk over to the hand-held grinder at a snail’s pace. He maximized the amount of loafing around he could do while minimizing the amount of actual work. In other words, he was lazy.
Soon after our lunch break, the boss of the drywall crew drove up to the house. While inspecting his crew, he saw this indolent employee slacking off and quickly confronted him. I didn’t watch the affair, but I heard every word of the indignant boss’s reproach. He cracked down on the young man, telling him to straighten up and start working like he was actually a “living, breathing human being instead of an automaton.”
The lethargic man failed to take these words to heart. He resumed his sluggish work, and he continued to slack off for the rest of the day. At the end of the workday, his boss came back to inspect his work. He, as I expected, was not impressed. After reprimanding his employee for wasting time and having a ho-hum work ethic, the boss fired him on the spot.
This display helped reinforce a powerful lesson in my life. Proverbs 20:4 says, “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in the harvest, and have nothing.” Working hard is a crucial principle that we must live by. The sluggard, because of his laziness and reluctance to work, found himself in a situation where he had no source of food. Similarly, the young man at my jobsite that day found himself without a source of income simply because he was lazy.
The whole scenario I witnessed showed me how important it is to take God’s commands to work hard seriously. It played out exactly as God’s Word said it would. If we adopt the same lethargic, selfish attitude that the young man did, we will be punished just as he was.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” Most people in America today don’t like to go without food for more than a couple of hours. If society still abided by this principle today, there would be a lot more people working! Sadly, our society has gotten used to acquiring as much as possible with as little effort as possible, and it has resulted in a generation that does not like to work—just like the man I witnessed on the jobsite that day.
Instead of working with half-hearted effort like most of society does today, we should be actively going out of our way to make things easier on those around us. If we have bosses or teachers, we should try to accomplish more for them than what they ask. We should work hard. We should be fired up! Then we can be assured that we will not find ourselves out in the cold.