Vol.XIII No.XII Pg.8
February 1977

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

In depression days one W.P.A. workman had nothing to take for lunch but turnip green sandwiches. He was a patient man, trying to be content with his lot, but turnip green sandwiches have a way of making a fellow long for better things — and that makes for temptation. One day he went to the truck a few minutes before noon, and switched his lunch sack for that of a fellow worker. As he hurried to a distant nook he could hardly wait to feast on his ill-gotten prize. But when he opened the sack guess what he found. Six hickory nuts and a hammer!

Todays working man is not, for the most part, struggling against starvation and tyrannical bosses. He has a more subtle enemy: inflation, and social adjustments that tear at his will to work. The latter has been all but ignored for some time; but now we are hearing more about need for a work ethic, and we may find that the lack of such has had much to do with inflation. Sociologists speak of the Protestant work ethic, and sometimes laugh at its moral background — nervously — but they praise the net results.

Higher wages, longer vacations, and better working conditions have not improved the work ethic. In fact, the more the worker is given the less he seems to care about doing his job well; but this is not to say that going back to poor working conditions and benefits would restore respect for the job. No, the basis for ethics is a sense of moral responsibility. It thrives best where people recognize the presence of God, and laws from a divine source.

Faith in God gives men purpose in life; helps to overcome despair, and binds families together in a way practically unknown in todays blas society. Presidential appeals, laws, and affluence can not restore what atheism and disrespect for authority have taken away. Gods word recognizes a legitimate desire for better things. It lifts one above an indolent, dont care attitude, but it finds satisfaction in that which may be attained by honorable means, and without sacrificing heavenly goals.

The scriptures state it simply: Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ (Col. 3:23-24). Thats incentive no lunch can match!