The Value of Labor

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Ecclesiastes 1:8 “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.”

Lazy people often avoid hard work. I was talking to a young man who told me that he had quit his job. I asked him why he quit his job, and his response was, “It was too hard.” If this young man does not learn to work hard, he will live a poor life. Nobody ever rises in life without working hard. It is the value of labor that allows a person to rise above the rest.

I am very thankful for my parents who trained me to work hard. Both my mom and dad expected me to work hard and not complain about it. At thirteen years of age, I had my first job picking strawberries for the summer. I worked from 7 in the morning until about 5 at night. I was not paid by the hour, but I was paid by the box of strawberries that I picked. I picked strawberries for three summers, and I often look back at those days with fondness because that is where I learned the value of labor. I learned that the harder you work, the more money you can make. That work ethic that I learned in the strawberry fields has followed me my entire life.

The verse above says, “All things are full of labour…” In other words, somebody had to work for what you use in life. There are no free rides in life. Somebody has to pay the bills, and though some have an entitlement mentality, they don't understand that somebody had to work to give them what they have. Let me share a few values of labor that I hope you will instill in your life and in your children's lives.

First, nobody should eat if they don't work. 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.” I know what I am about ready to say is not popular, but there should be no government assistance without the one receiving it doing some type of work. I know there are some who are disabled, but most who claim to be disabled are simply lazy. A child who doesn't do their chores should not be allowed to eat. The Scriptural principle is that you should never enjoy the rewards of labor without laboring.

Second, having a great work ethic is of more value than talent, wealth, or education. I am not minimizing talent, wealth, or education, but many who have these attributes rely on them but never do anything in life. I have learned that I can rise above the talented, educated, and wealthy if I simply outwork them. People who work hard will always find a way to the top. Lazy people will always complain about how they are mistreated. If you don't like your position in life, then work harder.

Third, don't deprive your children of the value of working hard. Many times the person who worked hard to get where they don’t want their children to have to work as hard as they did, but it was how hard you worked that made you the person you are and allowed you to get what you have. You are hurting your children’s future if you don't make them work for what they get. They will certainly complain, and many will think you are too hard, but when they learn that they can get what you have by working hard, you won't have to pay their bills when they become adults.

Labor is not a bad thing; it is a Scriptural thing. Let me encourage you to embrace labor as a blessing that makes the playing field equal, because whoever works the hardest is the one who rises to the top.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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