“Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So are the lazy to their employers.”Proverbs 10:26
There’s a bite to some of the proverbs. “A penny saved is a penny earned” is a neat aphorism. But comparing folks to vinegar and smoke and judging any as lazy, well that may seem to a lot of us a bit harsh.
But it is strange how we think we don’t have to do our best. I was on the Board of Ordained Ministry in our annual conference for many, many years. (Don’t ask how. It was legal!) One year I chaired an interview team for ordination. Candidates were asked to write their theology. One young man, fresh from the West Coast, simply wrote “God is.” In big letters. Well, needless to say that interview was short. Don’t know why the young man thought he could do that, but guess he just wanted to cut corners. Not sure I would want an oncologist treating cancer who thought corners could be cut like that! There is a fine line to all this. We need God’s grace. We need Jesus to pronounce forgiveness of sins. But at the same time, folks, every book in the New Testament, yes, every book, talks about judgment in some form. Grace yes. Judgment, well, in some way. Really? Yes. So the kind of life we live does matter, to God and to others. Paul tells Timothy (II Timothy 2:15) to be workers who have no need to be ashamed. At one time every candidate to become a pastor was required to write a sermon on that text. Wonder why?