Like many other teens in the North ern Hemisphere, perhaps you are seeking or have found a summer job. Did you know the Bible reveals principle s that will guarantee success and happiness on your job? Why not study these important keys to success so you will be prepared for a rewarding and fulfilling summer?
Before you begin, be sure to get your Bible, a pen and some paper.
1. When God put Adam in the Garden of Eden, did He put him to work? Genesis 2:15.
In the first two chapters of Genesis, God reveals Himself to us as 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. He put the man into the Garden of Eden to cultivate and beautify it.
2. Does the commandment to rest on the Sabbath have another side? Exodus 20:9.
"Rest" from what? Work, of course. Though many have not realized it, the Fourth Commandment also instructs mankind 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 this earth to work? John 9:4. Did He reveal that the Father is still busily engaged in His job? John 5:17.
4. Does God intend for us to enjoy and profit from the work we do? Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:22.
5. How zealously should we do all of our work? Ecclesiastes 9:10.
God works with zeal. We are to be come more like God by working diligently at whatever we set our hands to do — whether we are working for an employer, our parents, for ourselves and even in doing our school work!
Editor in Chief Herbert W. Armstrong once knew a philosopher and writer named Elbert Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard realized the importance of working diligently. 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."
6. Will diligent effort always prove its worth? Proverbs 10:4-5, 13:4. Will the hard worker have the necessities of life? Proverbs 20:13, 28:19.
7. Are those who refuse to work forever wishing for the things that the diligent possess, but always ending up empty handed? Proverbs 13:4, 21:25.
8. Does the slothful person look for all kinds of dangers to justify his lack of effort? 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.
9. Does laziness tend to become habit-forming? Proverbs 19:15.
Some use the slightest little excuse to flop down on the couch and watch television when they ought to be working or doing something constructive.
10. Does it take effort, and sometimes even physical discomfort, to avoid being lazy? Proverbs 20:4.
11. How does the condition of the yard, the house or the farm of the lazy person usually reveal what kind of individual he really is? Ecclesiastes 10:18, Proverbs 24:30-34.
Take a look around your room. Do your bed and desk and chest of drawers give you away? If so, take instruction from God's words of wisdom.
God wants us to take care of what we have and be neat: "Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds [or whatever possessions you may have]. For riches are not forever..." (Proverbs 27:23-24).
12. Is there profit in all labor? And nothing but poverty in a lot of talk? Proverbs 14:23. If you want to find summer work you can start profiting from this principle right now. How?
By making a "job" out of getting a job. Seek advice on what types of employment are presently in demand. Then ask yourself what kind of work you would like to do. And of course ask God to help you find a job.
13. What did Paul teach regarding service to one's employer — one's boss, foreman or supervisor? Colossians 3:22-24, Titus 2:9-10.
Though Paul's instruction was specifically to Christians who were bond slaves at that 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." Be cooperative and zealous on the job. Be alert to please your boss by doing the job his way. And show your willingness to go beyond what is required.
14. Can one expect to be paid a good salary if he is not worth it? See the principle in Mark 4:24.
The way to receive a greater reward 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! Produce! Study in order to improve your skills.
15. What is 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.
16. To whom is the sluggard instructed to go to study and learn about the initiative he lacks? Proverbs 6:6-9.
Many have not really understood the main point of this passage. Notice verse 7. The ant not only works, but does so with "no leader, no foreman or chief" (Moffatt version).
Ants have a built-in, programed ability to work diligently without prodding. Mankind, with the God-given ability to think and reason, should not only be able to do as well, but far better than these lower forms of life. An employee should work diligently whether or not the boss is looking!
17. Notice Proverbs 12:24. Who will be come the leaders directing the rest of the workers? And what will be the lot of the slothful? Same verse.
"The slothful will be put to forced labor" (Revised Standard Version). 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 superior's production and the production of all his fellow workers. When the time comes for raises and promotions, this is the man or woman who 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!
18. Will the person who is a self-starter and really applies himself on the job eventually find himself in the company of important people? Proverbs 22:29.
19. Was Joseph an industrious young man who was given greater responsibilities? Genesis 39:2-6, 22-23, 41:40-44.
Are you willing to put forth the effort to be like Joseph? He was diligent. And though he was severely tried and tested for a time, he still obeyed God and God blessed him. He eventually became prime minister of the entire land of Egypt, and will undoubtedly 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 the principles we've just studied, and to please God in other facets of your life, He promises to bless you.
The apostle Paul sums it up in Hebrews 11:6: "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder [both spiritually and physically] of them that diligently seek him."