Proverbs 22:29 says, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”  This verse might be easier to understand if we read it from the New King James Version.  That says, “Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.”

Very often, in the writings of Solomon, he commends the character of one who works diligently and intelligently.  To this man, Solomon proclaims their reward is success in their labors.  He tells us in Proverbs 10:4, “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”  Also, we read in Proverbs 12:27, “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”  In this verse, the diligent man is contrasted to the slothful, or lazy, man.  Let’s consider one more verse, Proverbs 21:5, “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.”

The diligent man, who works hard and intelligently, will be promoted to serve in higher and greater capacities.  He will not have to find work before unknown, or obscure, men…seeking work wherever he can find it.  If only today, men would realize this important and practical principle!  Even more important, is the fact that in all we do, we should do to honor the Lord.  1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  We also read in Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”  When we labor, in whatever capacity it should be, we should do it heartily and for the honor of the Lord.  In whatever area we might serve, whatever job we may have, we should do our best, for in truth, “ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Solomon also wrote in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…”  As servants of the Lord, our work ethic should honor the Lord.  If we profess to be Christians, yet are lazy in our jobs, we dishonor the Lord.  If we are dishonest or hard to get along with in our jobs, we dishonor the Lord.  If we cannot be depended on to perform good and consistent work, we dishonor the Lord.  This in no way means that we should give all our time and energy to our jobs, without spending time with our family and time in God’s Word each day.  No, we need to make sure we have time for these vital things, but while we are at work, let us be careful to ‘excel in our work’ to honor the Lord.  (190.4)