The book of Proverbs in the Bible contains many verses that emphasize the value of hard work and the importance of diligence.
These verses show that God values hard work and diligence and that laziness and idleness can lead to poverty and other negative consequences.
Hard work is not only important for providing for our physical needs, but it also helps us develop discipline, character, and a sense of purpose.
As a teenager, I had a poster on my wall that reminded me of my life motto. It read, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
I was an athlete, and working hard was a way of life for me. Hard work was essential for winning games and races. I learned that working hard helped me reach my goals.
The lessons learned through athletics have served me well as an adult. Hard work yields fruitful rewards, and God is pleased by excellent effort. This mindset has enabled me to flourish in my career and helped me live with a sense of fulfillment and joy.
God designed us to work hard and feel purposeful after a job well done. He makes this clear in his Word.
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Proverbs About Working Hard
The book of Proverbs offers a great deal of insight into working hard. Many Proverbs teach us that hard work results in God’s provision in our lives. We also see that laziness does not produce the results we desire.
Let’s look at 12 Proverbs as we discover what God says about the value of hard work.
Proverbs 6:6-8, ESV
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8, ESV
These words might seem harsh, but they are helpful for times when we feel stuck in life. Just as ants are always working, hard work produces pleasant outcomes in our lives.
Do you want to see God’s provision in the future? Put your whole heart into the work he has called you to do today—even if it seems trivial and insignificant.
You are building habits that will direct the course of your life, and these habits will change the way you approach future endeavors.
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4
The Bible cautions us to be careful about loving money; however, this is not an admonition to avoid hard work. Hard work results in God’s blessings.
I have learned that pouring my whole heart into the work set before me—and making personal sacrifices—results in unexpected blessings from the Lord. When we work hard, God meets our needs.
“The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.” Proverbs 12:24
Do you want to be your own boss and set your own schedule? The first step toward this kind of freedom is learning to work hard.
Whenever possible, be the last person on the team to take a break. Show up early and stay late.
Invest as much as you can into the work God has called you to complete, and he will most likely move you into leadership positions.
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” Proverbs 12:11
We all face the temptation to succumb to distractions. We can spend hours scrolling through social media, watching TV, or using our time to pursue other worthless distractions.
There’s nothing wrong with relaxing, watching TV, or using social media in moderation. We need to care for our bodies and learn to rest. However, finding balance is important.
Chasing worthless pursuits will not result in the abundance we crave in our lives.
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” Proverbs 13:4
Notice that this Proverb isn’t speaking about our bodily desires. This is a verse about the state of the soul, which includes the mind, will, and emotions.
Do you want to live with a fulfilled soul? Do you want a sharp mind, focused will, and stable emotions? According to this Proverb, you will fulfill your soul by working hard.
“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” Proverbs 13:11
Working hard to slowly gain material possessions holds great value. When we see increase in small amounts, we learn that hard work results in positive results.
Get-rich-quick schemes don't work because those who get rich without effort often lack the character to steward their possessions wisely.
Just as God expands our capacities to minister to others slowly, he often protects us by allowing us to gain material possessions slowly. There is great value in slow accumulation.
“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
It’s easy to talk a big talk but much harder to put forth the effort required to prosper.
Do you want to see results in your life? Perhaps it's time to quit talking about it, stop ruminating over the details, and get to work.
The first steps often feel frightening, but every great work begins with one small step in the right direction.
“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” Proverbs 18:9
Just as a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, no organization is stronger than its weakest member.
In addition to dragging down a team, business, or ministry, a lazy person is like poison. Upon seeing one person who is slacking off, others will follow.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
God wants us to commit our work to him. Whether you're starting a new job, enjoying a hobby, investing in your family, or joining a ministry, begin by committing your work to the Lord.
Ask God to anoint you and equip you for the calling. When we commit our work to the Lord, he uses it to fulfill his purposes.
“The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.” Proverbs 20:4
Many people expect to give a half-hearted effort and still receive a full reward.
This Proverb reminds us that those who don’t work hard at the appropriate time will not receive God’s reward. Instead, they will be disappointed and come up lacking.
“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.” Proverbs 20:13
Working hard means we must sometimes push through physical discomfort. This Proverb isn’t telling us to ignore our bodies or neglect sleep; instead, it is a warning against slothful lives spent pursuing excessive comfort.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
This Proverb teaches us that planning is wise. Hasty decisions don’t often lead to success. God calls us to use common sense and wisdom as we think through our plans and follow his vision.
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The Bible is filled with scripture about working hard in life.
I have learned that rushed decisions aren’t often wise decisions. Part of working hard is putting in the extra effort that goes with good planning.
The Bible makes it clear that God values hard work. He also blesses those who work hard.
The next time you feel tempted to give less than your best effort, meditate on these Proverbs about working hard to give you the inpiration to get moving.