“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
Proverbs 6:6-8 (KJV)
I have read this passage over and over again and it still intrigues me that an ant is the one God has chosen to hold up as a good example here. I am sure that out of all the creatures God has created there is any number of creatures that could have been used as an example, but the ant was chosen. That still tickles me, especially since I am always trying to get rid of ants, which invade my home and seem to want to take over.
So let’s take a look at ants as our example. Ants are small creatures, yet they are great little workers. As a matter of fact, according to Pest World for Kids, ants can lift 20 times their body weight. Wow! They are definitely strong for their size. However, they probably don’t get that strong by being lazy and complaining that they are too small to lift such a heavy load. They are probably that strong, because they work at it.
Yet, it isn’t their strength that is considered here, but their work ethic. They dutifully gather food without being told that they must do it. Nobody is forcing them to do what they know needs to be done. They just go out and look for food and gather it in. Ants seem to “know” that if they don’t work together and gather the food, then they will not last. The work has to be done whether they want to do it or not or they won’t survive. Not only do ants gather food for their own survival, but also they do it for the survival of others in their colony.
Sadly, people are not always like that. Some of us do have a great work ethic. We do what we need to do whether we feel up to it or not, because we know that it is the right thing to do and that our survival and life style may depend on it.
It seems that the work ethic of our society in general is diminishing generation by generation. As time goes by and technology gets greater, we feel that the need to work hard gets less and less. As a matter of fact, it seems that the reason for technology is to create less of a need to work and enables us to be lazy. Don’t get me wrong; technology can be useful and helpful in many things. It can help save lives and can bring us closer to friends and loved ones all over the world. Yet, when it is used to ease our workload, is it really helping us?
I even wonder if our welfare programs aren’t doing more harm for our society than good. Not that I think that it is bad to help those in need. I think it is great to be able to help those who are going through difficult times. Yet, I also wonder that besides sometimes enabling some of those on the system to work less than in reality they may be able to work, it also takes away from those in society who loving want to help.
We are taxed more in order for the welfare programs to work. However, a good part of that tax also goes towards the running of the programs. And, sometimes we as individuals feel resentful, because we are being made to give and are not giving willfully from our hearts. Yet, since being taxed, we might not feel the same ability and desire to help others in the same way as if we weren’t taxed for that purpose. Not only that, but if we had the chance to give from the heart with that money instead of being taxed, we may be able to find more effective ways to put that money to use for our neighbors in need. It seems like it would be more of a win/win situation.
If we look back at Proverbs 6:6, the ant is even called wise, because of it’s good work ethic. This is something to really ponder. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be considered less wise than an ant. Do you?
So, in considering our society and our own personal work ethic, let’s ponder and pray about the words of Solomon in this passage. Let us think about God’s Word and follow His infinite wisdom for our life instead of the societal norms and our individual eases.
Thank you for loving us and caring for us enough to share your infinite wisdom with us. Thank you for showing us that a good work ethic is important and valued in your sight. Help us to work faithfully to do your will, no matter how difficult it may seem. Help us to follow your will for us, despite societal norms. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for Proverbs 6:6-8 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 6:6-8 mean to me?
*What is God trying to show me with this verse?
*What can I learn from the ants?
*Do have a good work ethic?
*What do I feel about technology and its role as it pertains to work ethics?
*What do I feel about social programs and their role as it pertains to work
Now, it is your turn.
I would like to hear your thoughts? Comment below. Also, I created some questions to ask yourself while reading your Bible to further your understanding. If you are interested, sign up and download your copy below. It is free!
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.