Proverbs 28:19 (NLT)
A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.
Finish high school. Get a decent job. Work hard. Don’t live beyond your means. Save some money. Avoid debt. Drive used cars. Buy a modest home. Provide for your family. Take some vacations. Give generously. Serve the Lord. Share the gospel. Spend time with family & friends. Teach your children well. Enjoy your golden years. Pass away and join the Lord in Heaven.
This used to be considered a “good life” in America, but somehow, it’s become old-fashioned and less than what you deserve. As a result, far too many people “chase fantasies” by racking up massive student loan debt, spending foolishly in order to look successful, and worrying more about “making their dreams come true” than working hard in a humble position with a decent company. Working with your hands in a trade is looked down upon while trying to strike gold with YouTube videos is celebrated. The person chasing fantasies lives in their parent’s basement while the hard worker lives in their own home.
Christ calls us to work hard (Col. 3:23), spend wisely (Heb. 13:5), learn to be content with what we have (Phil. 4:12), and provide for our families (1 Tim. 5:8). Sadly, our media-saturated culture continuously bombards us with images of high-flying, opulent success at a young age which fuels our worldly desires and creates a fantasy life that for the overwhelming majority of us is simply unattainable. A massive, nationwide survey in Newsweek magazine about twenty years ago revealed that 10% of Americans fail miserably, 10% achieve success beyond what they expected, and the remaining 80% “simply endure.” If it was that bad in the 1990’s, I can’t imagine how much worse it is today.
Massive success is not wrong, in and of itself, and having lofty goals can be great motivation. A good theology of work points Christ followers to maximum effort with a good attitude and a willingness to trust God with the results. We must be humble enough to take a decent job and sober-minded enough not to chase unrealistic fantasies. When we work God’s way, He will always provide for our needs.