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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: Get Rich...er...Ripped Off Quick
By Del Gibbs


Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. Eph. 4:28 (LB)

One lesson I learned from my dad was the importance of good, honest work. I learned it more from watching his example than I did from anything he said. Dad would get up early - before five - put in a full day, then come home and help my mother in her drapery business. He would be out late helping her with installations.

A couple of get-rich-quick schemes came through that were tempting. One had to do with a new innovation in car oil filters. On the outside it looked like any other filter but inside, you insert a roll of toilet paper. Then every 3,000 miles, simply change the roll. Pretty ingenious. You never have to buy a filter again. Just keep changing the toilet paper. They tried to get Dad to sell those things. Said it was a ground level opportunity - he was sure to make a fortune. But Dad declined, and lucky he did. Before long, guys were bringing their cars into the shop for major repairs. Seems their valves were clogged up with clumps of Charmin.

Paul understood the importance of good, honest, labor. He made tents to put bread and butter on his table. Sure, he was a pastor and missionary, and could have lived off the donations of others, but he rolled up his sleeves and put in his eight hours like everyone else.

He believed you do an honest day’s labor, you get an honest wage. No shortcuts. No “get-rich-quick” schemes. Sure, he had seen the late-night TV shows. He heard how you can make millions buying and selling real estate with no money down. And software that would let you make a fortune in options trading - sounded tempting - just buy when the arrow is green and sell when it’s red. Then order another Bentley for your ten car garage.

But Paul knew, for every person who gets rich quick, there are a thousand who get ripped off quick and those were odds he was not about to take. He remembered the old proverb, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

There is a way to gain wealth, and the first step is actually quite easy. It simply depends which side of the bed you sleep on. If you sleep on the right side, you swing your right leg out. If you sleep on the left, swing out your left leg. Then get up, go to work, and for the next eight hours, give your boss a hundred and ten percent. Do your work with excellence. Do it “heartily as for the Lord and not unto men” (Col. 3:23), as if Jesus Christ was your immediate supervisor.

Good, honest work will bring promotion. It will bring excellent performance evaluations. You will receive recommendations and strong references, and in time, it will lead to bigger and better opportunities. It worked for me. My first radio job was midnight to six in Havre, Montana, population 12,000, of which only about twelve were still up after midnight. But I treated that shift as if I were doing morning drives in a major city. And before long, I was. In Honolulu. It doesn’t get better than that.

Good honest work brings its own rewards. More importantly, it will develop strength of character which is of far more value than earthly wealth.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/03/06
You have some wonderful truths in here, and very nicely put together! Great job of weaving your and your father's experience with Paul's (though I admit I did a double take when you implied that Paul had seen late-night infomercials!!!). A lesson we all need to learn.
Angela Logsdon08/03/06
AMEN!! Too many people these days expect something for nothing. They expect everything to be handed to them with little to no effort on their part. Good write.
Lynda Schultz 08/04/06
Loved the toilet paper example. One little thing - you might want to rework the paragraph on Paul being a pastor and a missionary, unless of course, you meant to imply that these people don't know the meaning of working for a living. Good writing and a good message.
william price08/04/06
I have to agree, the Charmin line was priceless. I'll be sharing that at work for sure. Nice story, good job.
God Bless.
Noreen Ophoff08/14/06
Gee, I disagree. A person can work very hard, and not receive any recognition, or raises, or acknowledgement that they are any more than a robot at their work. There are many selfish people in businesses. Your article was an easy flow from one idea to the next, I just don't agree with the thoughts.
Del Gibbs09/09/06
Our receptionist had a job like that. She worked nine months as a parking lot attendent in our building. But every day, she would give me a cheerful greeting as I paid my parking. She went out of her way to make people feel better. Next time we had an opening, I hired her. I stand by my claim. Do your work well and promotion will come.