Wild and Crazy Cant Be Lazy (Developing a Strong Work Ethic)

Proverbs 24:30-34 (NKJV) 

30 I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest;
34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.

Wow, so you mean to tell me that there are two things that will push you into poverty? Laziness and Lack of Understanding (or making excuses and purposeful ignorance?) No wonder my Father was so hard on me and why I am so adamant about people (especially men) being all who they can be despite where they came from or who brought them into this world.

When I was growing up, my father emphasized a very strong work ethic. In the early 70’s he went to FAMU for undergrad and then to Purdue University during a time when the faculty had racial prejudices that were much worse than they are now especially in Graduate School. He started a family when he was 22 with me as the first child of three in 1975…We went from an apartment, to a 2 bedroom 1 bath house in the middle of northeast Jacksonville (1436 West 10th Street to be exact), Sometimes i would hear him leaving for work in the mornings but mostly I saw him in the evening as he returned from work. If he wasn’t tired he would greet us with a quick wrestling match, or a spanking if I got bad grades in citizenship (which I did often). He would then go to the room, say hello to my mother, change out his work clothes and then come back in the front room, kick his feet up on the coffee table and watch TV or just be quiet. For years he did this without complaining and would go right back at it again the next day…I saw him stay up late, read several hundreds of policy pages from his Job and heard him still get up early. When he was laid off he started his own business and now is retired growing old with God. As I think back, I remember asking why he would walk fast in the mall. He would reply by saying “that folks that aren’t going anywhere walk slow”…he would tell me to stop shuffling my feet and pick them up because it sounded lazy and of all the things I learned from him, he always emphasized hard work at whatever I chose to do. I also learned about “self-deferred” gratification which teaches you that NO ONE OWES YOU ANYTHING. You are not entitled to blessings or success…there is only one thing that free and that’s salvation. Everything else is conditional.

My father taught me to despise the word “lazy” and to value the word “common sense” in other words you need to work hard but have wisdom and be willing to sacrifice yourself or wait for the well being of your family and do it for several years if you have to. I have done that both personally and in my ministry. I worked nights for 5 years, worked “two” jobs for 6 years working in the day and teaching at night…By the Grace of God, I did what had to be done to get where I am today. Sure I wanted to keep monies for myself and I did at times but never at the expense of my families well being (even if I knew I deserved it). Most of the time I would see 2% of my paycheck or less just so that my family will be OK. I applied the same principles when it came to the health of our church. I did not accept any compensation from the people until my fourth year in ministry because “others” needed it more than I did and when there was a shortfall God provided the rest. This mindset allowed us to move faster towards our destiny than most even in a recession and it was the same mindset that has provided stability for my family.

Now for some of you this point of the blog can get lost because you are looking for a scenario that fits your life circumstance, an excuse or that “life happens” or I did not have it the same way as you did…I also understand that one’s environment does have an influence on ones outlook on life. HOWEVER, IF you have life, health and strength and you are in your right mind, you have everything you need to be successful.

So i will give you a glimpse into some principles that have shaped my work ethic and maybe it will help you.

1. Eliminate Excuses. You are becoming what you will be one choice at a time.
2. Educate yourself. Go to College and if that’s not for you read and get experience in your field of dreams.
3. Be Consistent. This above all else points to integrity. If you never stick with anything nothing and NO one will Stick with You.
4. Have a Vision. Sometimes when you have to make a detour due to family issues, job loss or life in general…keep your vision before you. When you have a vision what once looked lie a stop sign now becomes a detour of learning patience.
5. Drop the entitlement attitude and blame games. No one owes you anything. You are where you are because of the reactions you’ve had and the choices you made. Remember the older you get the less people want to help you.
6. Be Patient (I am Preaching to Myself) You are no further than where you are…so enjoy the journey. (I am reading a book called slow church wink emoticonbecause like fast food it will turn a quick profit but it will make everyone sick in the long run.) God will work it out in due time
7. Surround yourself with people who will pull no punches with you and will hold you accountable. If your feelings get hurt all the time you will never make it in a boardroom full of sharks. ‪#‎toughenup‬
8. Be persistent like a Pitbull. If you don’t know, ask. If no one will tell you, research. If the research is flawed use a cross reference. If the references dont work get hands on experience. Ill make it plain, If you need more money, work extra hours. If you know you can do better, apply for the next position up, if they reject you send out 50-100 applications a month until you get a call…If none of that works, get a recruiter who can work on your resume…if that does not work, start your own business. (Knowing that you will have to put in 60-70Hrs a week into it for 3-5 years) before you see any profit)
9. Don’t cut corners…quick money schemes never work. if you cut corners you will go in circles an never get anywhere.
10. (Bonus for Men who grew up with Mom being the provider). Don’t get comfortable with your wife/woman supporting you to no end. Its OK for her to have her own…but hers should be ICING on the cake. Don’t make her work double-time. Your goal should be that in your latter years she can work if she wants to not if she “has” to. This is a pet-peeve of mine because there are already too many pimp minded/effeminate men out there that want to sit back and let the women bring home the money and baby them. No sir…even if you are on hard times you can contribute by having that house spotless, take care of the kids and communicate the plan that you have and how many times you have applied for jobs. When you are trying God will open a door for you in the end.

Bottom line is that you can go as far as you want and with God anything is possible. Put that pride aside and get to work.

‪#‎sacrifice‬ ‪#‎youcantteachgrindyouhavetodoit‬

~ Pastor A. M.

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