“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5 NLT).


This proverb teaches a proposition of success including its corollary, which leads to failure. The proposition is that “good planning and hard work lead to prosperity.” Notice that planning and work are further defined as “good” and “hard.” For there is certainly a thing called “bad” planning and “lazy” work. So, the one who would follow the proposition must pay careful attention to its detail. The Book of Proverbs is filled with further instruction on both good planning and hard work, so that the student of its wisdom can find more than adequate instruction. For instance, the one who would have good planning will seek the counsel of many (Prov. 11:14, 15:22) and remember that ultimately, it is God who determines our path, so He should always be consulted first (Prov. 16:1, 3, 9).
The corollary describes the path to poverty. And it is a well worn highway. “Hasty shortcuts” are the fashion of the day. For immediate gratification is today’s theme. No wonder poverty still remains in such a prosperous land. For the sin nature always seeks a shortcut, a get rich quick approach, a spin of the wheel, a lottery ticket that hits the jackpot. Yet, such an approach almost always ends in poverty.
Let us remember the apostle Paul’s Spirit inspired words, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). For whatever is done by faith and for the Lord will prosper and last unto eternity.
PRAYER: Father, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. We are often tempted to take short cuts, but help us to remember Your instruction to seek You in our plans and to work with all our hearts as unto You, with You empowering our effort. We give You this day and this week. Help us to work for You and through You and by You. In Jesus’ name, amen.