There are a whole lot of Proverbs on working well and not being lazy. This is good. However, there is also a time for planned rest. We are all about purposeful stopping here at Sweet Selah Ministries. So, what's the difference between rest and laziness? How do you Work Well and then Rest Well? Join Nicole and Sharon as they puzzle this out, studying the Word of God together. With you!
Want to become a Podcast Partner? We'd love to have you on our team! You will get exclusive emails from Nicole and Sharon and our deepest gratitude if you are led by God to become a monthly donor. Seriously, even a $3 a month donation would be such a help. Go to DONATIONS tab on this website and sign up today. Write that you are choosing to be a Podcast Partner in the Comments section. Thank you!!
Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. We hope this little pause in your day, refreshes and encourages you friend. Let’s take time to know God through his Word and love him more and more. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.
Welcome friends to episode 31 of the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. Today’s episode is called Work Well Rest Well. We are studying the book of Proverbs and looking at various themes. Solomon was really big on work and quite disgusted with lazy people. We found so many passages dealing with work and laziness. We decided to do a whole episode on it. We are also really big on taking sweet selah moments, pausing from our regular work to spend time with God and prayer and the reading of his Word and the admiring of his creation. It has been fun, putting it all together. Sharon, let’s start with the work part. Do you like work? What did your parents teach you about work and what do you wish they had taught you?
That’s cute. Well, I like work that I like how’s that for an answer. If I’m writing a book or I’m writing a blog, I can get lost in it and like come up for air three hours later and feel like no time has passed because I love it that much.
I can be what I call selectively lazy. That housework thing that we’ve talked about in the past, I can ignore the refrigerator until the point that we don’t want to talk about how long I can ignore the refrigerator because it’s a selective thing. I don’t like cleaning up the refrigerator. I don’t like kneeling on the floor and scrubbing out the spilled maple syrup that dribbled behind the onions.
Why is it always a maple syrup? It’s so hard to get out. (laughing)
It is! It’s so sticky goopy. So, although I think I enjoy work, and I can do work well, I have a part of me that is selectively lazy and that’s shameful because refrigerators do need to get cleaned, sometimes. (Nicole: I know!) Maybe not all the time, but sometimes. So how about you?
That sounds pretty similar (laughing). Things that I love, I throw myself into with no abandon and all the enthusiasm, but I find that I put off those tasks that are not my favorites.
I have to do those things first thing in the morning, or I will procrastinate them all day long. Yeah. I put them off.
You put them off. Of course you do.
I don’t like them.
Now I don’t know about your parents, but my parents instituted a Saturday morning work routine for us. Yes, they did.
Sounds horrible. (Both laughing)
So they marked it that before we could go out and play in the neighborhood, we had so many, household chores to do. And then we had so many outdoor chores we’d have to do. So we had to have our rooms cleaned to a higher standard than during the week. And then my dad, like raking season, we were raking leaves or working in his garden. And so I did develop a work ethic from them in doing that. And I kind of passed it onto my kids in that I would, I would do a Saturday morning clean up, but I tried to make it fun. I pretended I was, and I used an accent, so I’ll try the accent, you ready? (Nicole: Okay). Inspector Cleanup. And I would come into the room and I would say, “Did she dust behind ze picture?” And I would lift up their picture and I would take my white glove and check it out. So if they passed Inspector Cleanup, then they got extra treats.
Oh my goodness, how fun.
It was fun. I love doing things like that.
You have to make it fun though. Well, we do that with the girls. We have their, they have their morning routine, but we always do it before something fun. Like what’s your parents said before you go play, get your work done. It makes it so much easier to go through the work. If you have something to look forward to.
Oh yeah. And if you can make it fun, make it fun. But it has to get done. That just rhymed. All right then.
(laughing) On that note.
Then on that note, well, I suspect most of us have some chores that require more self discipline than others. And I confess right here and now that there are times when I need to reread the Proverbs that warn me about being lazy. So we’re going to take a Sweet Selah Moment and read straight through a dozen or so Proverbs that talk about work and about laziness. And then we’re going to try to learn from them. So Nicole, why don’t you start us off?
All right, Proverbs 10:4. Lazy people are soon poor. Hard workers get rich.
Proverbs 12:24. Work hard and become a leader. Be lazy and become a slave.
Proverbs 14:23. Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty.
Proverbs 13:4. Lazy people want much, but get little. But those who work hard will prosper.
Proverbs 13:11. Wealth from get rich quick schemes quickly disappears. Wealth from hard work grows over time.
Proverbs 21:25. Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin for their hands refuse to work.
Proverbs 21:5. Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity. But hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Proverbs 24:30-34. I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds and its walls were broken down. Then as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson; a little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit, scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Proverbs 12:14. Wise words bring many benefits and hard work brings rewards.
Proverbs 19:15. Lazy people sleep soundly, but idleness leaves them hungry.
Proverbs 10:26. Lazy people irritate their employers like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.
Oh, for crying out loud. Solomon is so funny in some of these.
It’s clear how he feels about lazy people. Yeah.
You’re better with finding the themes Nicole, what’s one of the themes you find in these verses?
So I noticed in a few verses the theme of planning and how important that is versus shortcuts and get rich schemes that just lead to trouble. Those verses Sharon really struck a chord with me. I’ve talked in earlier episodes about being a shopper and I have not always been the best manager of money. God gave me a man who is thankfully, and he has patiently helped me to understand finances and plan better. There was a time I had to learn the hard way that I couldn’t just fix it all quick. Um, so debt is awful. We all know that. And it puts such a weight on us. I had accrued quite a bit of debt and was desperate to get rid of it now! Wanted to get rid of it as quickly as I had accrued it. But try as I might no quick fix worked.
Some of the things I tried even made it worse, just like the Proverbs said. I tried almost all of the work from home companies out there and always ended up spending more money on the products than making money. And those credit cards with no interest for six months, but the recommended monthly payment is far too small to cover the costs in six months, and at the end they add all of the interest back on and then some! Ugh, watch out for those! So I have found these Proverbs to be very true. Planning and hard work is the only way we are now debt free (Thank you, Jesus!) except for our house because of careful planning with a budget and slowly chipping away at debt. No quick schemes. No, (Sharon: No shortcuts!). Nope. Just hard work and planning, just like he says, but it takes time. There’s no fast ways out I’ve learned.
And we have discovered through all of this, the beauty of being patient by planning and saving up for something, instead of just charging it on a card because you really want it or on a whim, what a different feeling it is to purchase something that you have worked really hard for because you have no guilt, no burden of debt. And you it’s, those purchases have been some of our absolute favorite things that we’ve bought absolutely done it the right way. (Sharon: But not only that, you value them more, it’s true!) Yes, because you remember the hard work and the patience it took to get to them.
Exactly so. Yeah! And you can enjoy them guilt-free.
Exactly. So these Proverbs really spoke to me personally.
Oh man. Well, you know, I’m noticing a theme in them, that’s Kind of fascinating to me, is sleep. The theme of sleeping too much.
Oh! Oh yeah!
A little folding of the hands, a little closing of the eyes, you know? And then when we read before about the guy that turns like a hinge on his bed, cause it might be a lion. Yeah. So, I’m just thinking about that and thinking that one of the things that I had to overcome in order to do a daily quiet time, which in my opinion, is the best way to start a day off right. Yeah. Was the desire to sleep more.
But sleep is good. And the way to plan, speaking of planning sleep is to plan to get to bed at the right time, (Nicole: Right.) Because really getting up at the right time in the morning can set the whole day so much better. And I finally discovered that I would rather have less sleep and an unhurried morning than, you know, get those 15 to 20 minutes extra and rush around like a mad woman. It seriously has made all the difference. And it took me a while to learn that because rolling over in bed, especially on a cold morning, feels so good!
And you have to remind yourself of the wisdom that comes from getting up early enough that you sit with the Lord for a few minutes and get his marching orders for the day.
It makes all the difference. It really does. And I think that’s part of this laziness thing. We can indulge ourselves in an extra sleep, thinking it’s helping, when really meeting with God helps more.
And then when I, when I do meet with Him, I always ask for my top three. Lord, what are the top three things you would have me do today? It sets my day for the work ahead and it’s work that I’ve agreed with God to do so the sleep thing, that’s a theme to me.
Extra 20 or 30 minutes that we sit there, snoozing don’t actually benefit our bodies. As we procrastinate getting up. There’s all these studies that it doesn’t actually help. So getting up and spending that 20, 30 minutes with God is so much better.
Plus, It’s really bad for your blood pressure to get up late.
It is! Waking up in a Flurry.
Speaker 3 (10:55):
Yeah, and also bad for your family. “Quick, quick move!!”
Exactly. Well, another verse that stuck out to me was Proverbs 10:26. And that one was … where did it go.
Oh, lazy people irritate their employers like vinegar to the teeth or spoke in the eye. That does not sound pleasant. I really hope I’ve never been that kind of employee to someone, Sharon, but I’m sure I’ve been a pain at some point. Well, looking at this verse, I was thinking that, as Christians, we’re supposed to be working as if God is our boss, because ultimately we answer to him for our actions. So even if we don’t have the world’s best boss, we still need to be good workers and not leave a bad taste in their mouth like vinegar. Because our hard work will set us apart and point, people back to Jesus as it is he who gives us the strength to overcome anything. Including jobs we may not love or bosses that are grumpy.
This is true. This is true. That’s so funny.
Yeah. That’s what I got from that verse.
I like that. I think showing Christ at work is one of the most important things we can do. So, and that means doing our job well.
Right? What a better way to do it.
You’re absolutely right. Well, another one that I thought was interesting was Proverbs 14:23. Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty. Sometimes we want to just talk our way out of things instead of actually doing them. You know? So I think sometimes we just have to get down to the nitty gritty and scrub the fridge. We just do. And sometimes I reward myself for a hard task. I’ll say, Oh, I talk to myself at home. I don’t know if I should confess this on the air, but it is true! I will say to myself: “Now, Sharon, if you will clean out that fridge and you may put on happy, uplifting music while you do it, you may then sit down and have a cup of tea and read a book.” And then I will say back to myself, “Really? I can sit and read a book?” And I will say, “Yes, yes, you may.” And then, I’m like, “Yay!” And I’ll go clean my fridge. So I think sometimes, we need to talk ourselves into a job, not just talk about the job. I can talk about cleaning the fridge for weeks. So we’ve got to watch it and just get down and do it.
And if you need to reward yourself for it to get it done, or if you need happy, peppy music to help you do it, just do the happy, peppy music. But understand that we have to get the work done.
So those are sort of our themes and now we are going to kind of segway from laziness into rest. Because here I was, just a few minuets ago, talking about too much sleep is bad, and yet part of Sweet Selah Ministries is saying: it’s okay to rest. So let’s try to parse this a little bit. We are to work hard, it’s wise to be disciplined and get up in the morning, do the work, whether we feel like it or not. We know that laziness creates all sorts of problems. So we need to plan well and do the work, but rest is good. So Nicole, What is the difference between rest and laziness?
Well, I think laziness is the avoidance of something that needs to be done or purposely not doing the work that is given to you. Or, the dictionary says it better, the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy. Idleness. And rest is defined as; To cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself or recover strength or to allow to be inactive in order to regain strength, health, or energy. So from these definitions, it feels like rest has a purpose that it’s intentional. I am choosing to be still to, to rest, to regain strength and energy. Where laziness is a lack of purpose. It’s more like a state of being, we just avoid and stop.
I love that. Really! I do.
So rest has a job.
Yeah. We have jobs that we have to do.
And when we don’t do them, that’s laziness.
But one of our jobs, according to God, is actually rest. And so to schedule that in as well is huge. And it’s, it’s a very different thing because it’s a purposeful stop.
Oh yeah. Okay. That’s good.
Dictionary definitions for the win!
Okay. So we’re going to read a few verses in Proverbs and then from other places in the Bible as well. And talk about the value of rest because Solomon’s pretty much focused on work and laziness and a little bit on rest and Sweet Selah Ministries is really big on rest. So we do want to share with you some verses outside of Proverbs, too that say purposefully stopping at regular intervals actually keeps you from laziness. I would say, because laziness, you can just procrastinate indefinitely. So, alright, let’s read a few verses Nicole, you want to start with the first verse?
Sure. So Proverbs 3:24 says: You can go to bed without fear. You will lie down and sleep soundly.
Proverbs 1:33 says: But all who listened to me will live in peace untroubled by fear of harm.
Proverbs 19:23 says: The fear of the Lord leads to life. Then one rests content untouched by trouble.
And now moving on to some other passages, Exodus 20:8-11: Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it Holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day, no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you for in six days, the Lord made the heavens the earth, the sea and everything in them. But on the seventh day, he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as Holy.
And then Psalm 23:1-3: The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want, he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake.
Then Matthew 11:28-30: Then Jesus said, come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart. And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light. I love that. There’s still a yoke. There’s still work. Right. But we’re yoked with Christ.
So the work is shared. Yeah, well that’s really cool. I like that. So, well, I think it’s safe to say then that even though Proverbs is mostly contrasting work and laziness, the Bible does tell us it’s also a time to rest. In fact, Solomon even said in those Proverbs that we can lie down and sleep soundly, if we’ve done the right things during the day, which includes work and rest, we titled this episode Work Well Rest Well, because both work and rest are important. The proportion of work to rest. I don’t know, might be one in seven. You know that, you know, most of the time we work, it’s not like we get up and spend the whole day lazing about, and then, you know, wash a dish.
But there is at least one seventh of a time that we’re supposed to be resting. If we look at God’s command on the Sabbath anyways. So, and then God added of course, extra holidays and party days. So it wasn’t just, the Sabbath that the people of Israel got to have fun on. God is about fun. I mean that festival of booths, that’s seven days, every year, camping out with your family, living in a booth to remember when you were, you know, you were living like a booth or a tent in the wilderness. I love that he made families do that because sometimes, especially fathers, can get too busy to do stuff like that. But they were commanded to go camping.
Go on vacation!
Yes. So, and that was sort of an enforced rest.
And, and a fun time for children to be in an outdoor world again, you know, I just, it’s so fun.
It is fun.
So sleep at night, work hard during most days, but give yourself rest breaks if you need them. We are also encouraging meeting with God every morning because that’s the come to me of that Matthew 11. We come to him, we yoke ourselves with him and that morning with me, I’m like, okay, what are the three things? And then we go do them. So.
I love that.
Yeah, it is so important. And then we have a little rest break in the morning when we’re meeting with God. And I take a little rest break right after lunch too. And just enjoy a half hour reading my book and having a cup of tea because I found that by resting a little, planned resting, I then have energy to get up and do again in the afternoon.
You know, there’s some studies in science on that too. I was reading, there’s a lady who talks about cleaning her house. Her name is Fly lady, but she does that. She works for one hour increments and every hour she rest for 15 minutes in that hour. Sit and rest and have your tea or read a book and pop your feet up soo you don’t overdo yourself. Like that’s beautiful.
Again, it’s God’s little pattern of working. And then resting. So your work can be more fruitful.
Right. I think it’s great. I do. And I think that we’ve run the danger of thinking: I just have to work harder, I just have to work more to get done. No. Work hard, rest well and then you can work hard again, because if you just keep slogging, without those breaks, you run down. And you do less. I find I do more if I rest, planned rest, then I would do, if I didn’t.
Well, I think the resting kind of staves off laziness. Cause if I’m rushing, rushing, rushing, and then I collapse, I’m not getting back up again. And then I’m just wasting time and I’m angry because I’m not doing my work. And then that laziness kind of creeps in where if I plan on a rest, it’s a productive time. I know that I can sit and be refreshed and then get up and finish with my chores.
And every once in awhile we recommend a Sweet Selah Day, which are so much fun! Where you plan it out and you find a place to take your children if you have them or your little dog, in my case. And you just run away to someplace pretty and take a walk and applaud God’s beautiful creation and open the Word. Maybe read it out loud, if you’re in a quiet place, and take the time to really savor and ponder. And those are filling up days so that you can give out again and without filling up, you cannot give out. You just can’t. So, all right. Well, I’d like to go back and talk about Proverbs 21:15 for a moment. Nicole, can you read that for us?
Yeah. It says: Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts leads to poverty.
So we’re going to talk about good planning for a bit. Yeah. So Nicole, I know I need some sort of a plan to organize my days, and I’ve talked about it a bit. How about you? How do you organize yourself with four kids, a husband, singing on the church, worship team, doing podcasts and all this stuff. What do you do?
Well Sharon, let me tell you, this has been one of my biggest struggles. Being a stay at home, mom and a homemaker. It’s been tough. Planning does not come natural to me. Some people just have this natural ability to order their day. And I do not have that gift. It’s Frustrating. But back when I started homeschooling, we tried for a while without a planner and it didn’t go super, super well. And I found this great homeschool day planner and it helped our day stay on track so much better. Then I found out people use planners for everyday life too.
I was super excited. So now I have a daily planner that one of my best friends, Meaghan Schoff, recommended to me and it has changed my life. I love this planner. It includes all these simple little lists for everyday small tasks that get forgotten. And it helps me with meal planning and budgeting too. And also has a daily scripture reading. It literally has everything I need in one place to keep my scattered and easily distracted mind on task. I keep my little planner on my kitchen counter. And after my morning, quiet time, I sit and go over my day and make my lists. It is super freeing to get all of those to-dos and things in my head on paper. And it leaves my mind more clear to be present with my family and my kids, because I’m not always worried that I’m going to forget something. So I know I wrote it down and then I can listen to my little one tell me the long story they have for me in the morning!
The long story. haha! I love it.
But I will never go back to just winging it and forgetting all the things it’s terrible.
I think planners are helpful too. I have a, I have a more simple one than that, but I do need it, to keep myself straight. And then I usually write a to do list and I write it on a Monday. Probably doesn’t get done until Friday.
Sounds about right.
And then God and I talk about my top three, because otherwise what I’ll do with a to-do list is I’ll get done all the things I like best first and I’ll put off all the things I don’t like until the end of the day and or at the end of the week or pushed into the next week. So I’m talking to the Lord about the top three really helps me with that. And then, because I am wired by fun. People are wired by different things. I have friends that are wired by cleanliness. You know, they relax best when everything is in order.
I admire those people. I’m not those people. I can work in clutter quite happily and not notice it. So for them, their motivation is simply I will work better in a clean space and I will live better in a clean space. So they’ll do it that way. What motivates me is fun. So I do, I do the thing. I do the talk to myself thing and I make myself do the hard task. And then I reward myself and stop and then I’m happy again. So, but the work has to get done. And by resting at the appropriate times, I have the energy and the umph to get the work done.
Well, I think you’re, I love that you talked to God about your top three things. I think I still like, I meet with him in the morning and then I do my to-do list, but I’m not always letting Him check my to-do list and make sure I’m not overwhelming myself or my kids with things to do. So I’m going to take that and I’m going to use that too. I like that. That’s really good.
Well, that is cool. It feels good to have things in order. It really does. Even if I don’t like the getting in order part, I do love to know that that I’ve got a plan today where things go well. So thankful for that. Well, I’d like to pray for you in closing podcast friends. I don’t know if you fall on the side of working too much or too little, but I do know this: God is able to help you and me and Nicole balance our days, if we will stop first and plan them with Him. So let’s, let’s take a moment just to pray and ask for his help with that. Father God, how I thank you that you wired us for hard work and rest. I thank you that you specifically call us to both. Lord help us to work well, to work for employers so that they see us doing our best so that they see a good work ethic. To work well for our family, so that our homes are in order, and there’s not chaos everywhere.
Help us not to be lazy. Lord show us when we are, show us when we are purposefully avoiding work that needs to be done. And God help us to plan rest. Show us where to place that in our days, whether we’re done the work or not and drink deep of time spent with you. Oh Lord, we need you. We need you every moment of every day. Remind us to yoke ourselves with you because your burdens are light. You don’t give us more than we can bear. Lord, we look to you as we each look to find balance in Jesus name, amen.
It’s always so much fun to ponder God’s word together and then talk through how to practically apply it. We hope you have found some helpful tips today in how to order your life a little bit better. Sharon and I learned so much just studying these out and learning as well. We hope you will come back next week when we talk about our mouth, Oh my. Words can really get us into trouble. Can’t they? We will be back next week to discuss that in episode 32, Watch Your Mouth. Until then, we’d love it if you could leave a review for us, or comment, letting us know that you listened or perhaps a donation at sweetselah.org/donations. Thanks for listening!
We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. Sweet Selah Moments is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast, including show notes can be found at sweetselah.org and at wordradio.net. Thank you for joining us.
You can download and print the transcript here.