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Summary: A proverbs driven life--the simple life requires practicing a faithful work ethic.

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Life Simplified

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, . . .

October 16, 2011

INTRODUCTION

Sing with me

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it's. . .

Did you now that the actual lyrics are

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho It's home from work we go (Whistle)

Many people mistakenly believe the song is about going to work when it is actually a song about going home from work after a very satisfying day of labor.

In the same way that many have misunderstood the lyrics of a famous Disney song, so do people misunderstand what the word of God says about work, our ethic of work and our ethics at work.

 A proverbs driven life--the simple life requires practicing a faithful work ethic.

I am deeply indebted to A Proverbs Driven Life (Kindle Location 804). Shepherd Press. Kindle Edition.

I. The Backdrop

A. Context: From the beginning work was not a bad thing.

Solomon's understanding when he wrote proverbs.

The biblical work ethic was established in the creation account (Genesis 1:27--28) and that man is charged to "work" the garden (Genesis 2:15).

This is not a curse, work is a part of our purpose even before Adam and Eve sinned.

The curse has made our work harder. There are now thorns and thistles and we work the ground by the sweat of our brow (Genesis 3:18--19). But work itself is not part of the curse, rather it is a calling and blessing from God.

B. The Problem: Work is now seen as the unavoidable inconvenience.

A 2003 study found that 23 million American workers are "actively disengaged" from their work.8

There are even websites that make a mockery of employment, with names like Ishouldbeworking.com and Boredatwork.com.

C. The Extremes: A Good work ethic avoids the extreme of the sluggard and the workaholic

We are all tempted toward two extremes in our attitude towards our work.

At one extreme we can be burdened, resentful, whining, shirking, unappreciative, and lazy. -- a sluggard. The sluggard sees work as nothing more than a necessary inconvenience en route to the true goal of life--not working!

At the other extreme we can worship our work, finding the very core of our identity in "what we do." -- an idolater--specifically, in today's language, a workaholic.

II. Consider the Ant

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

Proverbs 6:6--11

A. The ant displays an innate and natural desire to work industriously.

B. The ant does not need to be persuaded, browbeaten, or forced to work.

"has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest."

C. The ant does not need some form of accountability to make it work faithfully.

D. The ant does not need coaching, pep talks, motivational speakers, or a book chapter on the biblical work ethic.


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