Read Proverbs 26
Featured Verse: Proverbs 26:13-15 (MSG)
Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there! Tigers are prowling the streets!” and then pull the covers back over their heads. Just as a door turns on its hinges, so a lazybones turns back over in bed. A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie, but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.
Motivation! It is one of the major themes in Proverbs—praising those who have it and admonishing those who do not. Proverbs does not offer an intricate explanation for why people are not motivated, or a detailed plan for how they can get motivated, it just says they need to build a fire in their life and get with it or lose out in life.
Speaking of motivation, I love the story of the guy who worked the swing shift in a factory, and every night when he walked to and from work, he would go a great distance out of the way just to avoid a cemetery that was smack dab in the middle of his route. One night he worked up the courage to walk through the graveyard, and it wasn’t so bad after all! So he started walking right through the cemetery every day, to and from work.
However, on one of his walks home, a fresh grave had been dug right in the path he now walked by habit, and he fell into a deep, dark, damp open grave. For some time, he called out for help and scratched and clawed trying to climb out, but it became apparent to him that he was going to get neither help nor out of his tomb. So he sunk down into the bottom of this pit, pulled his coat up around his ears and prepared for a long night until the grave diggers came the next morning and could help him out. After some time had passed, another man came down the same path, and he too, fell into the open grave. The first guy just sat there with a smile on his face watching this second guy, who was so preoccupied with getting out that he didn’t notice the first guy.
After a while, the second guy grew tired and he, too, gave up his clawing and scratching and yelling and sank down into the bottom of the grave. At that point, the first guy said, “You’ll never get out of here, boy!” Guess what? The second guy did! Hearing that eerie, disembodied voice from the other end of the grave was all the motivation he needed—and he was out in about two ticks.
Proverbs reminds us that motivation is a holy thing; a state of being highly valued and honored by the Lord. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 14:23 tells us, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” And Proverbs 15:19 says, “The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.”
All of that to simply say, if you are a motivated person, and your motivation is directed in a God-honoring way, the Word of God promises honor to you. If you are not, you will get no psychological explanation or motivational pep talk from the Bible—only a swift kick to the seat of the pants and a warning: Get with it or get left in the dust of those in life who are motivated.
“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” ~Samuel Johnson
Winning At Life:
What is one area of your life in which you would like to turn up the motivation?