By Tope Banso
“Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6 New Living Translation).
Human beings always have the problem of maintaining proper balance in life. Because of this, they engage in extremes that are not good for them and others. For example, I’ve identified three categories of workers – the idle, the workaholic and the diligent. I consider idleness and being a workaholic as two extremes that destroy people.
The idle are lazy; they hate to work. They’re parasites on others. The Bible does not spare lazy people. Many scriptures condemn laziness (Proverbs 6:6-11, 10:4, 12:24, 13:4, 18:9, 19:15, 20:13, 21:25, 24:30-34). You must avoid laziness or idleness.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 says those unwilling to work will not get to eat. Ephesians 4:28 warns that anyone who steals should steal no more, but rather, work with his hands what is good so that he will be able to have something to give to the needy. Work to meet your needs and the needs of others. Work to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
There is another extreme: overworking oneself. Being idle or being a workaholic is bad. Greed or covetousness, and anxiety, move many people to overwork themselves just to acquire things. They work to satisfy their greed or covetousness, or overwork themselves, out of anxiety.
Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind” (New Living Translation). The Good News Translation puts it thus: “It is better to have only a little with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind.”
Don’t always want more and more, and hurt yourself, your family, loved ones and staff. You can’t have everything. More doesn’t always bring satisfaction (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (New King James Version).
The last category is the diligent. Diligence is always a constant in any equation of success! The diligent are hardworking but not workaholics. I see them as those who have contentment. They’re not moved by greed or covetousness, or anxiety, to overwork themselves. They maintain proper balance, between work and other departments of their lives.
Don’t be idle, but don’t also be a workaholic. Being called a workaholic is not a compliment. Be diligent without being a workaholic. Be diligent, but don’t be motivated to work by greed, covetousness, anxiety, etc. Don’t overwork yourself because you want more than it’s necessary.
Hebrews 13:5a says your conduct should be without covetousness; you should be content with what you have. Godliness with contentment is great gain (1Timothy 6:6). Contentment is not the same as idleness. Exercise self control. Maintain a Godly balance.
PRAYER POINT: Father, help me to maintain a Godly balance, as I work.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please forward.
(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso, an Abuja-based minister, heads
Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
Wisdom for living: The idle, the workaholic, and the diligent
By Tope Banso