2 Thessalonians 3:10
For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Hard work and Persistence.
There are two keys to success: persistence and hard work. There will be times in life when success hangs on the hinges of persistence. The door to success will open if you will just hang in there and keep working; keep going forward.
When I was 16 my parents “gave” me a car. I say “gave” because actually the lent me a car so I could drive my sisters around for them. I also say “gave” because it was always their car. It was never really mine. The condition of car use were as follows:
- I was responsible for paying for the insurance. ($50 a month!! I know that was probably only a fraction of what it cost to insure a 16 year old but at the time I thought it was a lot).
- I was responsible for putting diesel (fuel) in the car and paying for it. (And my dad told me if a diesel car runs out of gas, it is ruined).
- I was not allowed to drive on the highway (I-35 in downtown Austin…probably a good idea). So driving across town took me a little a longer that it took most people.
- Sometimes I would be required to run errand, including taking my younger sisters where they needed to go.
So with the responsibilities of a car, I had to get a job. Yes, my parents made me get a job and work when I was 16 years old. This was not the first time they made me work. When I was growing up, I believed my parents had children so they would have someone to do the dishes, vacuum, etc. My mom doesn’t LOVE to cook…can you believe a southern woman who doesn’t delight in cooking. So around 12 or 13, I started cooking too. (Turns out I love cooking…way more than cleaning). My parents didn’t just teach us to work, they set the example. My dad loves to work. Anyone can tell that my dad likes to learn new things and has a standard of excellence no matter what he sets his hands to. My mom, if they had an award for perfect attendance, she would probably get it (her attitude towards good attendance is evident in that my sisters and I earned “perfect attendance” awards when we were in grade school). My mother also has a sense of excellence. As far as I am concerned her house is always clean.
Without exaggerating, I can say that my sisters and I enjoy working. We like the sense of accomplishment. We enjoy doing things well. We are always looking for areas where we can improve or where improvements can be made. A few days ago, Judy and I were talking and we agreed that we appreciated our parents and their “conditions of car use”. We learned that things in life are not free. We learned that work is necessary. It is a part of life. We learned the value of money. We learned the value of hard work. (Thanks, Mom and Dad! – yes, they read my blog). We plan on implementing some of the same things with our children.
Recently, I was watching a reality show on tv. On the show, one of the young daughters wanted to $50 to buy some shoes. Her dad gave her a list of chores and what he would pay her for doing each chore. He paid very well. Something like $10 every time she walked the dog. The first day she walked the dog, she ran into a Mexican (he wasn’t American) who did work in the neighborhood. She asked him how much he would charge to walk the dog. He said $5. She also hired him to walk the dog, wash dishes, wash the family vehicle, etc. All the while paying him less than what her dad offered to pay her so she was doing nothing and enjoying the profits. It was cute and very smart of her to realize that she could get someone else to do the work and she could make the money, I’m not sure she learned anything about working. There was some delayed gratification. The attitude of not liking and not wanting to work seems to be the norm among young people today. They seem to want things handed to them without setting a goal and working toward it.
From what I’ve seen young people want all the opportunity without investing time and commitment into doing the small things. In Luke 19, Jesus speaks in parables and one message that jumps out is be faithful in the little things and you will rule over large things (My own wording).
So here’s where we are so far. 1. Many people do not set goals 2. They do not like to work or do not understand what hard work is 3. Work is not done with excellence.
In defense of young people, I didn’t have a clue when I graduated from high school. I thought I might like to do something with computers and I knew I liked to write. Guess how I found out what I love doing and what my purpose is. I went to work, tried a lot of different things and eventually I came across some things I really love like teaching. I rediscovered writing. I’ve taught and written software classes and Bible Studies. I have written technical manuals and books.
If you aren’t sure about what you want to do in life, do something. I changed jobs several times so I could get more experience. I worked at several jobs that didn’t pay well, so I could gain experience and build my resume. I have taken classes and hope to take more. There is always room for improvement. I’ve worked in several positions wondering how that position would play into my future. Several jobs were set up by God so I could learn a skill or character trait that I was lacking in…heck, I find myself in one of those position right now. We should always be learning and always growing…when you cease to grow, you will die.
God has a plan for everyone but don’t expect your purpose or dream to come knock on your door. You must put forth effort. Work hard; God honors hard work; God blesses hard work. Do not give up just because things are difficult; God honors perseverance.