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Affluent Christian Investor | September 21, 2017

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One Who is Slack in His Work is Brother to One Who Destroys

Coffee Senior Male Shop Man Writing Serious


I recently recorded four short, 20-minute videos for my church that addressed the topics of purpose, creativity, goals and time management, and faith. The church has been showing these in their small groups as part of their time, talent, and treasure emphasis. Yesterday after church, a young man came up to thank me for something I said in the third video on goals and time management. I thought that would be a good place to focus in this week’s Memo. What did he say and what will we look at this week. For those answers, you will have to read on.


The young man was referring to my comments on Proverbs 18:9, which says, “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” I wrote about this in November, but it bears repeating, especially since I have picked up many new readers since then. The best way I can explain what the young man heard is to try and replicate what I said. Here goes.

What if you had a book manuscript and it was your only copy (for some reason you did not back it up or keep the file). Let’s say you put that manuscript in your office and left, only to come back and find the copy missing. Then you find out someone took it and destroyed it. That person committed a criminal act, and would be subject to punishment for destroying something that did not belong to them. What’s more, anyone who could have read that manuscript would be deprived of its benefit.

Now let’s change the scenario. What would the result be if you had never written that manuscript? The people who could have read and received benefit from it would never have the chance. Can you see that the result is the same as if someone had stolen the original manuscript? That is the point of the proverb: If you don’t do something that is within your power to do it, it is an act (or inaction) that is kin to an act of destruction.


When you have been thinking of learning another language for many years, but neglect to follow through, that is not an innocent act. There was someone assigned to hear you speak their language, but that will never happen. When you have poetry or music in you, and don’t produce it, then you have willingly withheld the good you could do and that is not just a neutral act. Something is lost by that inactivity. I could go on and on to provide more examples, but I hope you get the point.

Your work, purpose, and creativity matter. The world is waiting to hear from you and about you, but you because of fear, procrastination, or laziness have held back. Proverbs 3:27 states, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” I suggest you get busy with the work the Father has given you to do without excuse, for no one else can make the difference that you were destined to make. Have a blessed week!


Originally published on the Monday Memo.

John Stanko was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Duquesne University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics in 1972 and 1974 respectively.

Since then, John has served as an administrator, teacher, consultant, author, and pastor in his professional career. He holds a second master’s degree in pastoral ministries, and earned his Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh in 2011.

John founded a personal and leadership development company, called PurposeQuest, in 2001 and today travels the world to speak, consult and inspire leaders and people everywhere. From 2001-2008, he spent six months a year in Africa and still enjoys visiting and working on that continent, while teaching for Geneva College’s Masters of Organizational Leadership and the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most recently, John founded Urban Press, a publishing service designed to tell stories of the city, from the city and to the city.


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