Episode 1. Hard Work Pays Off
Listen to the radio broadcast
Download audio file
Wouldn’t it be great if we stumbled across some get rich quick scheme. If you find one, let me know. The reality however is that they’re pretty few and far in between. It’s a bit like winning …
Wouldn’t it be great if we stumbled across some get rich quick scheme. If you find one, let me know. The reality however is that they’re pretty few and far in between. It’s a bit like winning the lottery. So, what’s one of the greatest tips for being money wise in the meantime? Hard work. Oh really??!!
So many people want to make money quickly, the easy way, have you noticed? And as I’ve just said there probably isn’t one of us who hasn’t dreamed of being rich. If only I could find that share that’s worth almost nothing today and next month it’s going to be worth a fortune.
If only I could put a bet on a winning horse. If only I could win the lottery. If only … Come on. Have you ever had those thoughts and dreams? Sure you have, we all have. Or the dream of becoming an over night success. Just starting something and being rich and famous before you know it, like one of those young people who go on those talent shows they have on TV these days – Justin Beaver and One Direction, over night successes.
Quite a few years ago there was a young Romanian gymnast, Nadia Comaneci and at the 1976 summer Olympics in Montreal she won three gold medals for gymnastics. She was only fifteen years old at the time, this young slip of a girl. The thing she’s most remembered for though is that she scored the first perfect ten ever in Olympic gymnastic history.
This girl made it look completely effortless, “if only we could be like her”, people would say, “it’s so easy for her”. People watched the performances and thought of her as, yeah you guessed it, an overnight success. A reporter asked her one day about what it was like to be able to be successful at something that was for her so obviously easy. How is it that it’s so easy for you and this was her reply?
Hard work has made it easy, that’s my secret, that’s why I win. And that my friend is the truth.
We’ve been talking these past weeks about being money wise, what value we place on wealth, our attitudes towards money, the fact that money is a good servant but a brutal master, those sorts of things. And this week we’re turning to some real practical things that you and I can do to be money wise – five very practical simple tips for being wise with your money.
And this is the first one. There is pretty much no such thing as becoming instantly rich. There are almost no over night successes in this world. Money generally comes from sheer hard work and as Nadia Comaneci clearly demonstrated the best thing we can do is to work hard at the things we’re good at.
Have a listen to this; it’s from the Old Testament Book of Proverbs in the Bible, Proverbs chapter 6, verses 6 to 11:
Go to the ant you lazy bones and consider its ways and be wise. Without having any chief or officer or ruler it prepares it’s food in summer and gathers it’s sustenance at harvest time. How long will you just lie there O lazybones, when will you rise up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come upon you like a robber and want like an armed warrior.
I love that passage. The writer, probably old King Solomon of Israel nine hundred and something years BC, one of the wealthiest and wisest men who’s ever walked the planet starts this little passage about hard work by going to one of the least of all the creatures – the tiny little ant.
And he’s saying here, wake up you lazy fool, look at this tiny, tiny little creature the ant, a creature which by and large we never really give much thought to, a creature that’s all too easily crushed under foot, this insignificant little creature who without any instruction, without any boss to whip it along gets out there and works hard to prepare it’s food in summer and at harvest time so that it will have plenty to eat in the winter time.
And you sit there you lazy bones sighing and sleeping and folding your hands and dreaming of the next get rich quick scheme and you wonder why poverty comes upon you like an armed robber, why want attacks you like an armed warrior.
It’s because you don’t work hard dummy, it’s because you’re lazy, it’s because instead of being naturally motivated to work hard like the ant you just well, sit there. Don’t be surprised if that’s not going to work for you. Don’t be surprised if you don’t have enough money to put food on the table.
Millions of people will buy a lottery ticket but only one will win the prize. The odds against winning the lottery are tens, hundreds of millions against one. They’re so remote in fact that we need to come to the conclusion that really it’s never going to happen for me.
Practical tip number one today for being money wise is simply this. If you want to have enough money to meet your needs then you have to be prepared to go and to work hard for it. It starts with motivation and that motivation leads to action.
Now I know, there are some people who simply cannot work – the sick and the infirm and the mentally ill. There are many genuinely unemployed people out there and that’s true, that’s a tough place to be and if you’re in that place right now, wherever you live in the world I pray that you’re part of a compassionate community and family who will get you through all of that.
But for the majority of us earning the money that we need to put a roof over our heads and food on the table and clothes on our backs, to be able to afford perhaps some of the little luxuries in life, it’s about hard work. And will you please note this with me, the ant works hard at what it’s good at, gathering food. Nadia Comaneci worked hard at what she was good at, gymnastics.
It seems to me the dumbest thing in the world for us to work hard at something that we’re just not naturally good at. I’ve done that a few times in my life and I can pretty much point to those as being the worst times of my life because you know what, it just doesn’t work.
If you stop and look at your situation, your finances, your hopes, your dreams, just pause quietly and consider those things for a moment. Are you working hard to achieve them or are you being lazy hoping that it’s all going to drop out of heaven into your lap? Well?
A second time in writing that Book of Proverbs Solomon said this in chapter 28, verse 19:
Anyone who tills the land will have plenty of bread but the one who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
In fact he says this stuff over and over again. It’s not particularly complicated and yet you wouldn’t believe the number of Bible believing Christians that I know who want God just to drop it all in their laps.
I had so many people come and want to work in this ministry of Chrisitianityworks, the organisation that produces this radio program that you’re listening to now. It sounded glamorous working in a media organisation, wow, whether as staff or as a contractor and when I’ve dug deeper they’re not prepared to work hard; they’re not prepared to go the extra mile. The people who survive in this ministry are the ones who throw their all into doing what we need them to do.
I had one couple do a piece of work for us, Christians to be sure, people who confessed to believe in God but you know they never once turned up to a meeting on time, they never once hit a deadline and what they produced at the end of the day was rubbish.
Do you think that’s any way to earn a living, to have plenty of bread on your table? It’s really easy for us to delude ourselves over how hard we work. I am not for one moment suggesting we shouldn’t work hard, that we don’t have time for our families and God and for rest and for fun but there are a few people today who are kidding themselves.
They’re waiting for wealth to just, I don’t know, fall out of the sky and drop in their laps. Umm, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not but it just doesn’t work that way.