Hard work and discipline – what a difference they make in life!
Chapter 12 has a lot of proverbs about these two very important qualities – we must love discipline (v.1), plan ahead (v.5), work hard (vv.11, 24), be content with what we have (v.12), watch our words and tempers (vv.13-14, 16, 18-19), and not be lazy (v.28). How are hard work and discipline grown in a person, though?
It starts young – people will either learn through pain or reward. When we work hard, we see the benefit of our hard work. When we don’t – is there a consequence for our laziness? So often other people “bail” us out, and then we never learn – and we go through life expecting everyone else to bail us out – our friends, family, government, co-workers. We never make the connection that our hard work and discipline leads to a good and godly life. This applies not just with work and tasks – but in relationships as well. Relationships take hard work and discipline – not saying much of what we think, disciplining our minds and words, using our words to bring healing (vv.18, 25-26), and listening (v.15). We also can work hard in relationships – taking time, keeping in touch, making appointments (all of which take away from “my” time) – to build and strengthen those relationships.
It is hard work, and takes discipline – but it leads to a life with less regret, and full of joy.