Work ethic is a strange animal. Some work diligently because they find work pleasant. Others are driven by their lust for glory. Still others crave accomplishment. Some work hard because they must. In other words, some work hard for what is in front of them, while others work hard for what is behind them. Motivations for work lie in all directions, and while one man works hard for survival, another works hard for supremacy.
God’s Word instructs us,
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
As obedient Christians, we find that the purest motive for diligent effort is found in a desire to please God and obey His commands. We would do all to the glory of God, whether it brings any personal fulfillment or not. This is the first motivation for all we do.
And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. In seeking the glory of God, we also seek the benefit of mankind. As we go about our business then, these two thoughts must be at the forefront – the driving force that compels us to work diligently.
This drive for diligence will look different in each of our various occupations and vocations. In the case of Jonathan Edwards, the next two resolutions he made related directly to his occupation as a preacher of the gospel. Namely…
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
I find a lesson of humble diligence in these resolutions. First, that my love to God should always drive me to dig deeper into His Word, hungering for Divine truth. Secondly, that my love to man should equally motivate my diligent inquiry into the truth of God’s Word. And thirdly, that the more diligent I am, the more I want to be impressed with myself. And that last lesson is rather unimpressive.