Does working hard make us good people?

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Proverbs 21:4 (NKJV)

4 A haughty look, a proud heart,

And the plowing of the wicked are sin.

Proverbs 21:4 (ESV)

4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart,

the lamp of the wicked, are sin.

Luke 11:34 (NKJV)

34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.


When Samuel the prophet went to anoint one of Jessies’ sons to be the next king of Israel, the oldest and the strongest sons seemed to be the ones to anoint. But God stopped Samuel and told him that these men appeared good on the outside, but God was looking at their hearts. In today’s proverb we find men that look good on the outside, but their insides are filled with sin.


When we lived in Wisconsin, I had the privilege of getting to know some farmers. These men, and their wives, worked more hours, worked year-round, and made huge investments of time and money awaiting their harvest. One man, in his 70’s at the time, had more work energy in him than I ever did. I once worked loading ice once next to a farmer’s wife and I could not keep up with her. Farmers work hard. So, when we read Proverbs 21:4 and are told that either the plowing of the farmer or the light of the farmer is sin, we seem to be missing something.


As we look at people and look at their lives, we will find one common thread amongst them all. Everything that everyone does is ultimately for their own benefit or for the benefit of their family, so for their well-being. For a hard-working farmer, the basis of his or her work is for their own benefit. At that point, they are working with a selfish, self-serving motive. The light that is in them, as Jesus said, is bad making them full of darkness. (I have known some hard-working farmers who were not good dad’s nor good husbands, so their hard work did not make them good people.)


Here is the challenge to us: if the hardest working people on the planet are not made good by their hard work, neither are we. We are all prone to pride, which the Lord hates and which is called sin. Our hard work is often something we take credit for instead of giving God the glory for. When we take the credit for our hard work our pride makes the light in us become darkness. Friends, let us give glory to God for every gift that He gives to us thus fighting against our human pride and it’s corresponding darkness.


We are thanking God today for healing little Ezra’s body enough so that he could go home. Look at the joy in the faces of the family as they receive him from the hospital. It has been a difficult week for them, but God has been gracious and kind and they are now together. This Thanksgiving Day, for the Schroder’s is special, indeed.


As it is Friday in Jakarta, we are praying for God to prepare all of us for church on Sunday. As you pray for teachers and musicians and pastors and other workers, remember to prepare your own heart and body to be in church, ready and on time to rejoice with God’s people and to hear God’s word.


We ask prayer for our first ladies conference here at JIBC. Tomorrow 40-50 ladies will be gathering from 9-5 to hear God’s word and to discuss the messages amongst themselves. May God use this time to strengthen the bond of friendships and to draw hearts to Himself.


Have a great day in the Lord,



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