All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (Prov. 14:23)

IS WORK PART OF THE CURSE God placed on the human race after Adam and Eve sinned? Some Christians think it is, but they would be wrong. Genesis 2:15 reports that God put Adam in the garden of Eden “to work it.” We have no reason to think Adam didn’t work hard as the garden’s caretaker, but apparently he didn’t sweat or break his back in the process. His situation changed dramatically, though, after he sinned. God put a curse on the ground and told Adam he would eat of the ground “through painful toil” (Gen. 3:17) and “by the sweat of your brow” (v. 19). So we can’t attribute work to sin, but we can acknowledge that sin put the groans and moans in work.

According to Proverbs 14:23, there is a bright side to hard work. It “brings a profit.” The profit may show in a paycheck, attractive flower, tasty vegetable garden, comfortable home, well-prepared meals, or all of the above. But there is also the profit of knowing we did our best and the Lord is pleased with the effort.

The Protestant work ethic views hard work not only as the believer’s duty, but it also sees moral value in work. Surely, Proverbs 14:23 gives credence to this decades-old ethic.

Be sure to put your heart as well as your hands to the work God has given you.

Jim Dyet was born in Scotland and raised in Canada. Married for fifty-six years, he and Gloria live in Colorado Springs and enjoy daily walks with their three dogs.