Keith Wishum: Willie, work, and wealth

Published 7:46 am Thursday, July 7, 2016

My fictional cousin Willie (William Wallace Wishum, you may recall) is unemployed. Not that he hasn’t tried to work, mind you. It just seems that nothing works out for him.
Willie’s first job was working in an orange juice factory. But he got canned because he couldn’t concentrate. He worked as a lumberjack, but he couldn’t hack it and they gave him the ax. After that, he tried to be a tailor, but he just wasn’t suited for it. (He said it was a so-so job anyway.) Next, he tried working in a muffler factory but that was too exhausting.
He worked in a shoe factory but never fit in. As a professional fisherman, he couldn’t live on his net income. Next, he was an electrician, but the mistakes he made were too shocking. He worked for a while at Starbucks, but he quit because it was always the same old grind. He finally worked as a historian until he realized there was no future in it.
After all that, Willie has decided that he really doesn’t like working. Unfortunately for Willie, there is a clear and undeniable connection between hard work and success. As Zig Ziglar puts it, “Success is dependent on the glands — sweat glands.” A greater authority on success said it this way: “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4).
Not complicated is it? If we hope to have, we must hustle. If we want wealth, we must be willing to work.
Surprised? Not expecting God to offer guidance for acquiring wealth? We shouldn’t be. God  never disapproves of money, just the love of it — and its frequent misuse. In fact, he promises that, if we will live by them, his commands “will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity” (Proverbs 3:2).
Your Father wants you to succeed. But he never promised to hand everything to you. As someone has said, “God provides food for the birds, but he doesn’t throw into their nests.”
When your ship comes in, be sure that you are willing to unload it. If you are waiting for something to turn up for you, start with your own shirtsleeves. “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor” (Proverbs 12:24).
And if you see my cousin Willie, please tell him to try carpentry. That’s one job I’m sure he can nail!

Keith Wishum is minister of Williams Road Church of Christ, Americus.