The Blister

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips (idle chatter) tendeth only to penury (poverty).

Proverbs 14:23

My dad likes to call people who show up late to work “blisters”. When they look at him with a puzzled face, he will say, “Well, you show up when the work is done.” He has never called me a blister, but he has blistered me with other words for loafing it in life whether on the sports field, academically, or with my daily chores I was given to do. I will say that I did not like to be called lazy, but there were times when my desire to be lazy was greater than the hate for being called it. I grew up in a home where dreams and ambitions were not curtailed, per se, but there was no mercy if you did not put feet to those dreams and ambitions. Talk was cheap in my house, and we were pushed to put those dreams into action. You could talk a big game, but it meant nothing if you did not act on those plans and work at achieving them. 

My aunt came to live with us when I was in elementary school, and she brought along her family which consisted of three girl cousins and one boy cousin, all of whom were older than me. My cousin, Richard, was a go-getter, and he became involved in the school and youth ministry. My parents tried to help him in many ways, even when my aunt and cousins eventually moved out of our house, which I imagine was a great relief to my parents as our 1,000 square foot home with one bathroom was at its max. My cousin wanted dress clothes to wear to school and church and my mom took him shopping at the secondhand store and got him some great finds. He was happy with this and wore these clothes proudly to school and church. 

He wanted some money for camp, so my dad told him to come clean up the yard on a given Saturday. We went to prayer breakfast at 7:00am and figured my cousin would show up after the prayer meeting. We came home from the prayer meeting to find him already working and getting after it. He was cutting the yard and cleaning it up and had already accomplished a lot by the time we got back home. My dad was impressed that he got after it, and I could see it in his body language and eyes. My cousin worked hard that Saturday and my dad not only helped with camp, but he also took him to a Phoenix Suns game and I was able to tag along. I was so happy for my cousin working hard as I reaped the rewards as well and was allowed to attend the game. 

I was so inspired by this as a little boy. It taught me that if I worked hard, there was a reward and profit to it. I became more concerned with the profit of it than anything else, and I wanted to impress my dad with working hard. I began cutting lawns and even picking up staples from the floor, because I was given a penny for every one I picked up off the floor in my mom’s Sunday School classroom. Money has always motivated me to work hard, but I have learned that working hard is its own reward. I don’t always get monetary pay for the work I do, but there is nothing like completing a hard day’s work even on my day off from my usual 9-5. My cousin made an impression on me that day, and my parents have always been a great example of hard work. 

God is good to give us work to do, and I am grateful for the job He has provided for me to financially support myself and my family. I know God honors hard work, but we must align our motives with His. II Thessalonians 3:10 states, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” Work is a blessing from God, and there is no profit when we are lazy. We are told in Ephesians 5 to redeem the time because the days are evil, and we should not waste any time with laziness as the end approaches. 

What legacy are you leaving behind for your kids or others who are watching you? Are you making a lasting impression of what hard work looks like, or are you known as a “blister”? In whatever work you do, remember there is profit in it even it is simply cutting the grass or washing the dishes. Talking only about work will lead to poverty as the above verse states, but there is profit and blessing in all of our labor. May we work as unto the Lord, and may we be grateful for the work God has given us to do.  

Stay in the Fight!

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