Do something worthwhile. Do something that will provide for you and for your family. Work hard at it and work consistently at it. When you do this you will be blessed with plenty for your family. You may not become rich or wealthy in the world's eyes - but you will have provided well for your family. Today's proverb helps us to understand that hard work will be rewarded with plenty of provision.
Work ethic is something that is not natural to fallen mankind. It is something that needs to be instilled in children from a young age - and then encouraged as they grow older. Finally, a strong work ethic needs to be lauded in the public eye so that the entire society may be blessed. If we do not do this - the second half of this proverb will begin to infect an individual, a family, and from there, an entire society.
God does not want us to follow what He calls, "empty pursuits." The King James Version refers to this as "vanities." What does it mean to follow an empty pursuit. At its core, an empty pursuit describes itself. It is something we do - or something we pursue - that in the end leaves us empty. It is something that is not productive. We give time and effort to it - but in the end it gives nothing back. The end affect of this kind of "empty pursuit" is that we wind up with plenty of poverty. These kind of pursuits take from us, but give nothing back when we've finished them. And from the term used here - we have to "pursue" them. We chase after them - and they have at least the promise of something valuable. The truth though is that when we catch them - we are left with a harvest of air. They give us nothing.
I'm about to sound like a really old man to many who read this - so I wanted to offer a fair warning. The video game industry is one that has been slowly planting a crop in our society, that when fully harvested, will provide nothing. I am blown away when I talk with high school and college students who spend hours and at times entire days playing these games. They immerse themselves in these things and when they come up for air - they have nothing except a bountiful basket of poverty to show for it. One of the most dangerous parts of this trend is that it also manifests itself in addictive behavior in other ways. We have an entire generation (and if we are honest with ourselves, at least two now) who are bound up in activities that produce nothing. Between the video games, the time spent on facebook and twitter, as well as the growing trend to get on sites like Netflix and others that offer entire seasons of television shows (which are watched almost all day long) we are becoming a society that is following massive numbers of empty pursuits. What that is yielding is an ever growing populace that shuns hard work - and is completely entertainment-crazed.
It is probably an appeal that may fall on deaf ears, but we need to shut down our games, get off the internet, and give ourselves to something called "hard work." If you have not noticed, our nation is coming apart at the seams. We see a pervasive laziness and lack of work ethic that will only bring us plenty of poverty in the end. Our educational institutions are dumbing down their programs and requiring less of their students. If you think I am eggagerating, look at how we rank in the world in things like science, math, and overall productivity. I am not against recreation and times of play - but our play used to be getting out and doing something with others. Now it is dominated by sedentary games that focus on fantasy, violence, or seeing our avatar get with it at some video activity. May God grant a revival - not just of religious activity - but one that also yields a return to a godly work ethic. If we don't do this, we will see the poverty a-plenty that God predicts. If we do return to the blessing of hard work, we will see a blessing that will last far beyond our own lives. It will bless many generations. Here's to hard work!