Be Industrious

KEY VERSE: “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.” —Proverbs 15:19

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 6:6-8; 10:4,5; 15:19; 18:9; 20:4

BUILT INTO THE fabric of nearly all God’s Creation, both in the animal kingdom as well as among humankind, is survival. This desire to live, whether instinctive, as with the lower animals, or through the ability to reason, as with God’s human Creation, results in the display of industry in many varied ways throughout the lives of all these created beings.

Our lesson is a reminder to us of the need to be industrious throughout our life, not just as it pertains to our physical, temporal needs, but especially as it relates to the higher, spiritual needs—the desire we should have to serve and please our loving Heavenly Father.

The Scriptures tell us that we can learn a lesson along this line from observing some of the lowest forms of life and their work habits. The wise man said: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”—Prov. 6:6-8

Just as the ant is faithful in storing up needful food, we should be prompt in gathering spiritual meat, the food of God’s Word, as we have opportunity. We should gather it into our hearts and minds to the intent that it will be of strength to us during the ‘wintertime’ experiences of trial and suffering which will most assuredly come.

Being industrious is not merely for our own personal gain and development. Our attitude should be such that we also look for every opportunity to serve others. The Apostle Paul says: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”—Gal. 6:10

Our lesson points out that any who fail to take advantage of such occasions are themselves poorer, whereas those who take advantage of these privileges are proportionately richer as the result of their liberality and service to others. “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”—Prov. 10:4

So important, however, is the matter of our lesson that it affects our walk of life itself, and the overall character which we are developing. Our Key Verse teaches us that our measure of industriousness and diligence in the work at hand regarding every aspect of life is a barometer of our faithfulness to God.

The “narrow way” in which we must walk at the present time to be pleasing to God, is a difficult path, and one which requires much diligent work on our part. To display the willingness and desire to engage in this great work to the utmost of our ability is what God is looking for in each of us. Seeing this, he will be pleased to make the way plain for us to find and to follow even though there be trials and testings. If we are thus minded, we can fully claim the promise, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”—Heb. 13:5

Solomon concludes with a warning against wastefulness, which, if continued, would result in having nothing, not even life itself. (Prov. 18:9; 20:4) Just as the lowly ant does not waste the days and hours of summer, but gathers food for its future use, so we should be diligent in our work of the present time, “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”—I Tim. 6:19

Dawn Bible Students Association
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