Why Toil?

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Do not toil to acquire wealth;
    be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
    for suddenly it sprouts wings,
    flying like an eagle toward heaven. Proverbs 23:4-5

I have Proverbs 23:4 highlighted in my bible. It stood out to me, but I wasn’t always aware of the depth as to why it stood out to me. I love how God reveals truths as I meditate on His word. Do not toil to acquire wealth? My initial thought is “How else do you acquire wealth?” The Lord tells us we must work to provide. Well, actually, He provides through our work, but we must work.

My thoughts become clear as I sit here and pray and think over this verse. Do not toil! Work and toil are different. In my mind toil suggests that we are spinning our wheels. Work suggests that we are making progress. I feel He is saying that we should not choose a career based on how much money we can make. It will only lead to frustration and emptiness. It becomes a form of greed when I only focus on the making money part. That is self serving and empty. When we choose to work with the gifts we have been given we stop toiling and begin serving. Serving is the focus, even in how we earn our income. It is so easy for me to focus on the income as a sales person. The problem is the money can take my focus off of what is important, helping others. Serving!

There seems to be a fine line in sales between money motivated and service motivated. I think it’s actually a large and bold line that can easily be seen. We can still be money motivated and service motivated at the same time. But, without service, money motivated is just greed. What I mean by that is that as sales pros, our score card is still the money in some shape or form. Either in our income, or in revenue to our company. That’s fine as measurement, but is self defeating when it is “THE” motivation. If I represent a product or service that I believe helps or serve my clients and makes their organizations better in some way, that is service motivated. That is professional selling. That is serving. If I push a product or service that the client does not really need or want, and really does not help the client to achieve their goals, I am a con artist, not a sales professional. That is toil.