Toil or Talk?

Listen to Proverbs 14:23—

There is profit in all hard work; But endless talk leads only to poverty (HCSB).

You know the type that the writer of Proverbs is describing, don’t you? He’s full of plans, will spend hours (if you let him) telling you all about them, and will bend as many others’ ears as he can in order to do the same.

But you never see the results of those plans. It’s all talk!

If you get taken in by such a person, you may find yourself giving him your time, your money – or who knows what else?

The FYI statement is there in the Bible not merely for the interest it may arouse in those who read it; it is a strong warning not to be caught up in another’s schemes—which may turn out to be little more than talk. If you do, eventually you will discover you have leaned on a fragile reed—a person who is full of talk but with no results! And you too will have wasted your time (at the very least) listening to him.

Watch out for those who talk excessively about what they are going to do, but never show you any results. If they were to expend effort toiling rather than talking endlessly they might be able to achieve something. That’s what the verse is saying.

Christians can fill their conversations with pious sentiments, objectives and desires (how much they are going to do for Christ), but when they fail to produce, they have insulted the Lord who saved them. Ask them to show you results of some of their past pet projects. When they cannot do so, shun such future conversations. They are a waste of time and will probably not end in any real results for the Lord than did some previous scheme.

Many people may mean well—not all are shysters—but they still are all talk and no toil. Perhaps you can help them by pointing them to this verse and exhorting them to get to work on some project rather than merely talk about it.


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