DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I own a small business that hires a lot of young people, but I’m frustrated because I can’t find very many who are reliable and actually want to work. Doesn’t the Bible say we’re not supposed to be lazy? — D.E.
DEAR D.E.: Yes, the Bible certainly urges us to be responsible and diligent in our work, no matter who we are or what we’re doing. The Bible says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
One reason is because laziness will never give us the things we want, or even the things we need. More than that, others will suffer because of our slackness — not only our families, but society as a whole. If no one wants to work, little will ever get done, and our society will sink deeper and deeper into poverty and hopelessness. The Bible says, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4).
But the Bible warns us against laziness for another reason: a lazy person isn’t making use of the abilities and gifts God has given them. God has put each of us here for a purpose, and his will is for us to be diligent in doing it. In one of his parables Jesus rebuked those who bury their talent instead of putting it to good use (Matthew 25:14-30).
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Perhaps we’ve failed today to teach our young people the value of work, and if so, our society will suffer. But instead of being frustrated, ask God to make you a mentor to your employees by helping them understand the value of work and develop the skills to do their jobs well. Above all, ask God to help you be an example to them not only of diligence, but of Christ-like character.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.
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