The Bible & Money: Proverbs 12:11 – Diligence Makes the Difference

This week’s Bible and Money focus is Proverbs 12:11:

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. – Proverbs 12:11 (NIV)

One of my favorite biblical principles is the concept of sowing and reaping.

In fact, I believe it is one of the most basic and important economic and spiritual principles a person can learn and employ in their lives.

The Bible frequently paints a contrast between those who work hard and those who are lazy – and it shows us the results of their labor.  Or lack thereof.

The Bible on MoneyProverbs 12:11 explains that those who are diligent in their work will have plenty, while those who are lazy or chase after whims or fantasies…won’t.

The New Living Translation says it this way:

“Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time.” – Proverbs 12:11 (NLT)

Before we go any further, I think it is important to understand that this passage isn’t saying that we need to be working all the time and can’t stop and enjoy times of rest, recreation, and reflection. The Bible is clear about the fact that we need to rest.

I think this passage is talking about our productive hours – the time of day when we should be working and providing for ourselves.

Here are a few observations that come to my mind when I read this text:

  • You have to do the right things that will bring an increase.  You have to know when to till, when to plant, when to water, and when to reap.  You can’t do things in the wrong order or just whenever you feel like doing them.
  • Fools work without a plan. They don’t have an understanding of what needs to be done, and when. This often ends up creating an urgency at the last minute – and sometimes when it is too late.
  • What are the “fantasies” that fools follow?  From my own personal experience, I’ll say that one fantasy is to think you can reap a harvest without doing the work at the proper time. Or to think that your dream will magically happen because you prayed about it, even though you weren’t diligent in doing your part.
  • Some people have a fantasy of winning the lottery, so they buy lottery tickets each week in hopes of hitting it big. But if they would have diligently saved and invested $1, $5, $10, or $20 or more a week, they could create wealth for themselves over time.
  • Diligence isn’t just about working hard, if what you are doing won’t create value or bring an increase.  It’s working hard at the right things that makes a difference and brings success.
  • If you want to have abundance in your life, you need to plant the right seeds. You need to create things of value that people are willing to pay for.  You need to stay focused until you are successful.
  • Some people chase after dreams somewhere else without realizing that the dream could be fulfilled right where they are, with the resources they already have at hand.  Read Acres of Diamonds for more on this.

Do you have a dream that’s burning inside of you?  Good! It’s not wrong to have a dream.  In fact, many of our dreams are God-given.

But your dream will stay just a dream until you clarify your vision, break your dream down into smaller goals, create an action plan on how you’ll accomplish those goals, and then diligently work your plan.

What’s one step you can take toward diligently accomplishing your dream?

But wait, there’s more….

About the author

Rich Rich writes on personal finance from a pastor's perspective here at Money Wise Pastor. He loves In-N-Out Burger (and has the t-shirts to prove it), urban living, homeschooling, Gungor concerts, helping people succeed in life and work, camping, dreaming with his wife, and equipping his five children to become financially faithful and free. Find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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