A Mouth Full of Vinegar and Smoke in Your Eyes

Day 10 in Proverbs 

Proverbs 10: 3-5 ” If you obey the Lord you won’t go hungry; if you are wicked, God won’t let you have what you want.  Laziness leads to poverty, hard work makes you rich.  At harvest season it’s  smart to work hard, but stupid to sleep.”

Proverbs 10: 22-26 “When the Lord blesses you with riches, you have nothing to regret.  Fools enjoy doing wrong, but anyone with good sense enjoys acting wisely.  What evil people dread most will happen to them, but  good people will get what they want most.  Those crooks will disappear when a storm strikes, but God will keep safe all who obey him.  Having a lazy person on the job is like a mouth full of vinegar or smoke in your eyes.” 
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Thomas Edison
Proverbs 10:7 “Good people are remembered long after they are gone, but the wicked are soon forgotten.”


We live in a tough world.  The effort you put into the job you do doesn’t necessarily relate to the amount of money you make.  Being in the business world and aware of the salaries that some people make is eye-opening…..and sometimes disillusioning.  Especially when you then look at the salaries we pay people like police officers and teachers.  It’s just not equitable.  Salaries do not necessarily relate to the worth to society.

I’ve heard it said that hard work is its own reward.  That does seem to be the case.  Knowing we invested ourselves in work….be it our job, working out, working in our yard, whatever it be…can lead to great satisfaction.

Probably more than any other time in my recent memory, laziness is passe’.  Some may say it was never in fashion….but I can argue that point quite fiercely.  In the early days of my career I saw it often.  People would get complacent in their jobs and just not work very hard.  They would do enough to get by.

I work with human resources people a lot and it has been interesting in the economic downturn to see them as they cut their workforce.  In past years, companies would automatically get rid of the last employees hired.  These days it seems that often they are using a whole new scale.  Yes, there is still loyalty to the employee who has been around for a while, but also there is much thought about which employees will get the job done in a lean workforce.  Points are also given to people who are bring vitality, ideas….and those who will work for less money.

Have you ever worked on a team with someone that is lazy?  Yep….smoke gets in your eyes.  Your mouth feels like it is constantly soured by the taste of vinegar.  They make you bitter and angry…..and make you work three times as hard.  Or at least it seems that way.  It all seems like drudgery and just getting up in the morning to go into work takes massive effort.  Usually the lazy one is the one that is front and center if the project turns out to be a success….and you would just as soon never see them again.

The contrast is being on a team where everyone lifts each other up.  Where people work together and look out for the needs of others.  When you know that they are working as hard as you are, and that together you are accomplishing something special.  What bonding occurs when that happens!  It makes hard work seem like fun.  You can’t wait to work magic together.  I have been on teams like that….and these people are friends for life. 

It’s nice to think that we just may reap what we sow.  While it may not be amounts of money in correlation to the work we have put into it, there is some sort of payoff.   I believe it.  Honest, hard work brings rewards.  It may be wealth.  It may be friends.  It may be thanks.  It may be accomplishment.  It may be peace of mind.  It may be pride.  But when we work hard, we will be rich with great things.  

In my mind, the wicked in verse seven are the self-centered.   Those who look out only for their own needs and not for the needs of others.  Those who make excuses instead of working.  The good are the great co-workers, friends, family and neighbors.  Those who show up and roll up their sleeves when you need help.  They imprint on our hearts.  And whether they are near or far, dead or alive, as long as we live, they live too.  Because we don’t forget them.  They become part of who we are.  The lazy, the wicked…..they are easily forgotten.  Why?  Because they never really showed up and became a part of things.  They didn’t invest in our lives or in the lives of others …..only in themselves.  Their currency runs out quickly.


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