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Don't work too hard?

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Some time ago, I was talking to a friend, and as we closed our conversation, he made this statement to me: "Don't work too hard." As I began to think about his statement, I wondered what is wrong with hard work and how did hard work become vilified in our modern society? Isn't hard work the means of achievement?

I once worked as a manager for a newspaper and noticed when I hired people the first or second thing they asked about was how much time off they got. Sometimes they even agreed to receive a lower pay scale in order to have more time off. It seems that they were not looking for a profession or a skill, but a means to support their leisure activities. Few seem to realize that hard work benefits each individual by keeping him or her in good physical and emotional condition.

History shows us that there were few obese people in the pioneer days of our nation. The necessity of hard work kept everyone in the best of shape. Today's sedentary lifestyle has people going to the gym in order to achieve the same benefits pioneers got from everyday life. We seldom think about the natural benefits of hard work. Working hard increases and intensifies the natural mind/body connection. In other words, our minds become more in tune with our bodies. Some scientific studies have shown it also produces greater intelligence levels. Few understand that hard work benefits us through a natural sense of accomplishment and pride in our tasks. Think about how good it feels to undertake a project involving hard work and see it through to its completion. There is nothing more rewarding than a job well done. For some reason the more difficult the work, the more rewarding it is on completion.

Hard work is something the Bible tells us is good for us. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 6:6–11 "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep—so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man."

We also read in Proverbs 12:14, "Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards," (New Living Translation of the Bible). When we look at the problems of our economy, we can find individuals who tried to get out of working hard by cheating other people out of their life savings. Some of the very laws that most professing Christians believe in instruct us about not avoiding work.

We read in Exodus 20:15: "You shall not steal." This clearly indicates that we should work for the things we have in life. In verse 17: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." This law shows us that there is more to life than acquiring physical things.

Many of the people who work in the financial industry were lured there by dreams of making lots of money with a minimal amount of work. However, as they soon discovered, that is simply not possible.

Imagine what a wonderful world it would be if everyone worked for what they had and didn't steal what they wanted, or didn't sit around devising plans to take or cheat other people out of what was rightfully theirs. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, it is not.

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  Originally Published: 01st August 2009