Monday, February 16, 2009

Succeeding on the job

"Go to the ant...consider its ways and be wise." Proverbs 6:6 NIV

When it comes to having a work ethic, "Go to the ant, consider its ways and be wise." These tiny giants of industry teach us valuable principles for living. Observe three things about them:

(1) The ant "has no commander, no overseer or ruler" (Pr 6:7 NIV). Nobody has to get it out of bed in the morning or coax it to get moving. Nobody supervises its work or enforces quality standards on it. Nobody needs to micromanage its time on the job or make sure it starts punctually, puts in a full day, pulls its weight and doesn't quit early. It's self-motivated and driven by its own high standards, not by rules, regulations or the fear of being fired.

(2) It "stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest" (Pr 6:8 NIV). While everybody else is complaining about the heat (the weather, the economy, politics, etc.), the hard-working ant just keeps preparing for the future. Later, in the more moderate temperatures of harvest time, it continues gathering. Disregarding the conditions, it works. Then while others are struggling to survive it feasts on the fruit of its labor. "Watch and learn," is God's counsel.

(3) The ant is no haphazard, disorganized drifter wandering around aimlessly, looking for something to do. He knows exactly what he's there for and where and how to do it. He's goal-directed, focused, determined and unstoppable. You can't keep a good ant down! "Consider...and be wise."

"But my job's a dead end," you say. As long as you're in this job do it "heartily, as to the Lord" (Col 3:23). Prove yourself where you are and God will promote you to better things.

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