“In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.”-Proverbs 23:14
I LOVE proverbs. I have been reading a chapter of proverbs most every day since March of 1991. Each chapter is packed with wisdom that upon reflection can help improve the quality of your life and everyone around you. It’s amazing to me how each day I read a chapter and something stands out to me as if I never read it before. This particular verse is simple on the surface, but has many deeper meanings.
The “idle chatter leads to poverty” part I think is pretty easy to understand. People who talk about doing, but don’t do, will lead an impoverished life. But not just financially. Poverty isn’t just about money…just like starvation doesn’t just have to be about food. When someone spends their life talking and watching, they are not participating in the actual experience. This is with anything from work, to a business, to an idea, to a relationship. Anything and everything in life. The richness in life is found in the involvement and the experience, both the positive experiences and the painful ones.
The richness in life is found in the involvement and the experience, both the positive experiences and the painful ones.
The first part of the verse is a real beauty if you dig deeper. You could say that maybe there is not profit in all labor, if we work at something and don’t gain financially from it. If this is your view point, you are too close to the surface. All labor has multiple profit for the doer. Laboring or toiling at any endeavor feels good at the end of the day. A day of hard work, even if the progress was indistinguishable, is satisfying to the soul. It contains the richness of self-worth. It sews the seeds of new learning in our work. It always brings us closer to becoming a better person. And it will always, with diligent pursuit, eventually lead to financial gain.
A day of hard work, even if the progress was indistinguishable, is satisfying to the soul.
The best labor? A labor of love. Confucius said “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” I believe what he meant, was that while you will labor long and diligently, it will bring you so much joy and fulfillment that you won’t associate this with feeling like work. This doesn’t mean there won’t be times of struggle or doubt, because those exist in everything in life that also isn’t work, it just means it won’t feel like a burden to do what you do. Take it from me, it is an awesome feeling to wake up in the morning and be diligent doing things you want to be doing….like helping others live a better life.