Friday’s Column: Brent’s Bent
The book of Proverbs contains helpful “dos and don’ts” for the gainfully employed working-age child of God.
Do (For Employees).
- Develop the skills that will earn you the notice of your boss or customer base (Proverbs 22.29).
- Work diligently to earn a promotion (Proverbs 12.24).
- Profit by your industry, not grand schemes that never reach fruition (Proverbs 14.23).
Do (For Employers).
- Be a planner (Proverbs 21.5).
- Encourage the input of others (Proverbs 15.22).
- Though not micromanaging, be aware of everything happening within your purview (Proverbs 27.23-27).
- Champion the rights of your workers (Proverbs 29.7).
- Treat your employees so well that they will love you (Proverbs 29.21).
- Show your employees what is in it for them to work well (Proverbs 16.26).
Don’t (For Employees).
- Don’t be lazy because you will irritate your employer (Proverbs 10.26).
- Don’t be a slacker (Proverbs 18.9).
Don’t (For Employers).
- Don’t be oppressive (Proverbs 28.16a).
I would be remiss if I did not address the 800-pound gorilla in America’s living room in closing. Our workforce has lost interest in working. Thus, they cannot profit from Solomon’s sage wisdom provided previously.
It is a biblical expectation that all of God’s children of working age will work for someone else or as their own boss (2 Thessalonians 3.6-12). God is good, sending rain on the righteous and unrighteous (Matthew 5.45), but He only promises Providence to those who seek His kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6.33). Such a person seeking God should be obedient to His commands, including those concerning the necessity of work. Furthermore, even if not for himself, a person should want to care for his family because failure makes him worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5.8).
In November 2021, the US Chamber of Commerce conducted a poll. 8% of those polled said they would never work again! At the time of publication, more than half of those surveyed said they were not actively looking for work. And this is not a problem for young people. The respondents ranged in age from 25 to 45+. People said they hoped to change industries or were awaiting the allure of a large signing bonus. Despite media reports, theBureau of Labor Statistics shows little has changed.
It’s anecdotal, but I know of two local businesses that closed because no one showed up. Both were restaurants, even if they were not technically in the same industry (one is fast food and, thus, considered food and beverage, and the other is hospitality industry). I’ve previously discussed this issue in this forum, but it persists. There are still desperate burger joints offering above-minimum-wage pay for a guaranteed 40-hour week, and people aren’t applying. How is this possible?
These indolent who expect others to look after them cannot expect even God’s children to feel compassion for their self-inflicted plight. As Paul tells us, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3.10 NASB).