Like many other teens in the Northern Hemisphere, you may be looking for or may have already found a summer job. In this study, we will learn vital keys from the Bible about job success. Applying these principles will help you have a fulfilling and profitable summer! But before you begin this study, be sure to get a Bible, a pen or pencil and some paper. Look up, read and then write down the verses that answer each question. This will help you remember the important principles you'll be learning. 1. When God put Adam in the Garden of Eden, did He put him to work? Genesis 2:15. What job did God give the human race? Genesis 1:26-28. In the first two chapters of Genesis, God reveals Himself to us as a creator — a worker. Within six days His creative work unfolded. And when He created the first human beings in His own image, He made them workers, too. God told the parents of mankind to subdue the earth — to develop, care for and produce from their environment. He then put the man into the Garden of Eden to begin working at cultivating and beautifying it. 2. Does the commandment to rest on the Sabbath have another side to it? Exodus 20:8-9. Rest from what? From work, of course. Though many have not realized it, the Fourth Commandment also instructs us to labor during the other days of the week. The Sabbath commandment actually dates back to creation week. It was given to keep man in a close spiritual relationship with his Creator, who is a worker — who created and now sustains His creation. And God intends for us to become like Him! 3. Was Jesus Christ sent to earth to work? John 9:4. Did He reveal that the Father is still busily at work? John 5:17. 4. Does God intend for us to enjoy and profit from the work we do? Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:22. How should we do all of our work? Ecclesiastes 9:10. God works with zeal. We are to become more like God by working diligently at whatever we set our hands to do — whether we are working for an employer, our parents, ourselves or even doing schoolwork! Philosopher and writer Elbert Hubbard realized the importance of hard work. He said: "If I worked for a man, I would work for him. I would not work for him part of the time, and against him the rest of the time. I would either work for him all the time, or I would not work for him at all." 5. Will hard work always payoff? Proverbs 10:4-5. Will the hard worker have the necessities of life? Proverbs 20:13, 28:19. 6. Are those who refuse to work always wishing for the things that the diligent possess, but always ending up empty handed? Proverbs 13:4, 21:25. 7. Does the slothful person look for all kinds of dangers to justify himself? Proverbs 22:13, 26:13-15. Does he always have clever excuses or hard-luck stories about why he shouldn't work? Proverbs 26:16. Is his love of sleep and lack of effort the cause of his poverty? Proverbs 6:10-11. 8. Does laziness tend to become habit forming? Proverbs 19:15. Some use the slightest excuse to flop down on the couch and watch television when they ought to be working or doing something constructive. 9. Is there profit in all labor? And nothing but poverty in a lot of talk? Proverbs 14:23. If you want t find summer work, you can start profiting from this principle right now. How? By making a job out of finding a job. Persist and be resourceful. Seek advice on what types of employment are in demand. And ask God to help you find a job. Then, using whatever leads you have, go out and visit prospective employers. A positive and enthusiastic attitude will show the employer you really want to work for him. (For tips on job interviews, see last month's article, "So, Do I Get the Job?") Once you have a job, there are other valuable principles in the Bible that will help you be successful. 10. What did the apostle Paul teach
Your summer job can be fulfilling and profitable if you use these keys. (Photo by Hal Finch)
about serving a foreman, supervisor, employer? Colossians 3:22-24, Titus 2:9-10. Though Paul's instruction was specifically to Christians who were bond slave sat the time, the principles certainly apply today. Whatever you do, work as if your immediate boss were Jesus Christ Himself: "Do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. "Be cooperative and zealous on the job. Be alert to please your boss by doing the job his way. Show your willingness to go beyond what is required. 11. Can someone expect to be paid a good salary if he or she is not worth it? See the principle in Mark 4:24. The way to receive a higher wage is to be worth more! Be a valuable employee. Don't just plod along in your summer job with a ho-hum, humdrum, every-day-the-same-routine attitude. Be energetic and productive! 12. What is a lazy person — a sluggard — like to those who hire him? Proverbs 10:26. He simply doesn't get the job done. Therefore he isn't paid much, if he can hold a job at all. 13. To whom is the sluggard instructed to go to study and learn about the work habits he lacks? Proverbs 6:6-9. Many have not really understood the main point of these verses. Certainly it teaches the quality of hard work. But notice verse 7. The ant not only works, but does so with "no leader, no foreman or chief" (Moffatt translation). Ants have a built-in, programmed ability to work diligently without prodding. Humans, with the God-given ability to think and reason, should be able to do far better! An employee should think ahead to see what needs to be done, always working diligently whether or not the boss is looking. 14. What kind of employee will end up directing the rest of the workers? Proverbs 12:24. And what will happen to the slothful? Same verse. Do your job without being told. Or do it immediately when told how. Get it right the first time. Be the kind of person who increases his or her superior's production and the production of fellow workers. When the time comes for raises and promotions, this kind of person will be remembered. Also, you can just about be guaranteed a job with the same employer next summer if you set this kind of example! 15. Will the person who is a self-starter and really applies himself or herself on the job eventually be in the company of distinguished people? Proverbs 22:29. 16. Was Joseph an industrious young man who was given greater responsibilities? Genesis 39:2-6, 22-23, 41:39-44. Are you willing to put forth the effort to be like Joseph? He was a hard worker who served and obeyed God. And though he was severely tested for a time, he did the best he could even in limited circumstances. He obeyed God, and God blessed him greatly. He eventually became prime minister of the entire land of Egypt, and will be given a high position in the soon-coming Kingdom of God (see Hebrews 11). If you will really believe God and set yourself to follow these principles, and strive to please God in other areas of your life, He promises to bless you! The apostle Paul sums it up in Hebrews 11:6: "He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder [both spiritually and physically] of those who diligently seek Him."