8/19 Proverbs 6:6

6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

Solomon warns us that we can slip into a life of slothfulness and find ourselves in a life of poverty. If we just indulge in sleep and taking it easy, we can get by for a while, but eventually it will catch up with us. We will be begging for food.

I remember in my early teen years working a summer job to try to make some spending money. A nearby resident asked me to come and scratch the thatch from her yard with a rake. It was a very hot day and the humidity was high. I made a half-hearted effort and didn't seem to break it loose at all. This dear 80-year-old woman took the rake from my hand and used a little muscle and showed me how lazy I was being. As a young teen that considered myself to be a young man, I was embarrassed to see this elderly woman put me to shame. I gave it my all, sweat a lot, and got the job done, but never forgot the lesson.

This is why Solomon tells us to learn from the ant. You see them scurrying around looking for food whenever the weather is good so that they will have it stored for times of bad weather. The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus said it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). He told the church to support older widows who had worked all their life to be a blessing to the saints (1 Timothy 5:9-10). He warned the church not to feed those who refused to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10). All believers should have this Biblical work ethic. The Lord encouraged us to be generous (Matthew 5:42), but wisdom also teaches us not to enable those who insist on living in ungodly lifestyles.

Consider: To help the needy is to be Christ-like. To enable the lazy is unscriptural. The Christian should be diligent at work so that he or she can have to give to those who are truly in need.