Is there a moral and spiritual value in work?
By Hugh Akston
a belief in the moral benefit and importance of work and its inherent ability to strengthen character.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
As I have often said before Morals are those values that come from outside ourselves. I realize that not everyone who has a good work ethic is a Christian, and many who proclaim to be Christian are not good workers. Being Christian or not is outside this discussion, although I will use the Bible to express certain Spiritual values regarding work.
Work ethic is a set of values based on hard work and diligence. It is also a belief in the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character. A work ethic may include being reliable, having initiative, or pursuing new skills. A poor work ethic; or as some would say no work ethic; may include lying, stealing, or poor performance of duties as an acceptable standard.
Luke 10:7 KJV - And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
It is the work ethic that makes a laborer worthy of his hire, the value of his work that equals or exceeds his pay; in the same way someone whose pay exceeds the value of his work is quickly dismissed from service, or should be.
Workers exhibiting a good work ethic should in theory be selected for better positions, more responsibility and ultimately promotion. Workers who fail to exhibit a good work ethic may be regarded as failing to provide fair value for the wage the employer is paying them and should not be promoted or retained. This is often a problem with unions, they do not promote a good work ethic so many union workers fail to provide the employers good value for their money. Union rules prohibit the firing of substandard employees or at least make it extremely difficult
Remember, that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle, one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides. ... Remember, that money is the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six, turned again is seven and threepence, and so on, till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds. - Benjamin Franklin
This may seem to dispute what I have been saying, or even support greed but it is the same principles as stated in the Bible. Work and money go hand in hand, honest work is honorable and the fruits of your labor are yours to enjoy. They should also be yours to distribute as you see fit, or to keep if that is your plan, not stolen to give to lazy people. I do support charity for those who are truly in need, but it is my responsibility to help those in need and my responsibility to determine who will benefit from my labor. I alone am accountable for my actions.
2 Timothy 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
There is value both spiritually and physically in work. The strength to your arms from labor will last many years and hard work will help you enjoy a better healthy life. The value to your spirit of eating the fruit of your labor and having to share with others will strengthen your soul and give you a healthy understanding of the needs of others. Welfare is bad for the soul as it encourages sloth and selfishness. The Government should take more from the rich to give to the poor, is a statement of poor people who are greedy for the fruits of the labor of others. Selfish people who depend on others for their support are poor in spirit as well as material goods.
“I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” ― Benjamin Franklin
All About Philosophy has a worldly view point; however this is what they say about work ethics.
What are work ethics?
Work ethics include not only how one feels about their job, career or vocation, but also how one does his/her job or responsibilities. This involves attitude, behavior, respect, communication, and interaction; how one gets along with others. Work ethics demonstrate many things about whom and how a person is.
Work ethics are intrinsic; they come from within. A question may involve where they came from, if they come from within. Philosophically, this may lead to various perspectives; however, the truth about work ethics, and where they come from are answered from a Christian worldview. Work ethics come from God the creator. God made humans in His image, and His word proclaims these various work ethics -- honesty, integrity, doing a job well, keeping things above board, and accountability factors.
The Christian worldview holds fundamentally to two central work ethics -- humility and the treatment of others. Humility is being humble, no task is too demeaning. Humility involves servitude, which emphasizes placing other peoples need before ones own. Treating others with decency and respect equate to the golden rule. The treatment of others involves loving your neighbor, loving your enemy, doing good to those who dislike you. It involves valuing others, and knowing they have worth.
The difference between the two views are: if values and morals come from inside or outside ourselves. Humanist say they come from the God within ourselves, the Bible says they come from a God who is greater than we are.
So what is your work ethic like? What are you teaching your children?
Just my thoughts for today.