A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. – Proverbs 10:4
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. – Psalm 36:9
1. Dick Rogers has been more than ten years looking for a fortune; but his countenance, his dress, and his dwelling—all say that he has not found it. Good reason why—he has been wishing that he might find a pot of money in his garden, or that some rich person would take a fancy to him, and make him his heir; or that some fine lady would fall in love with him, and marry him. Poor Dick! he has been looking for riches in the wrong place: he would have stood a much better chance, if he had sought them in the sweat of his own brow, and the labor of his own hands.
He is likely to go hungry, who go searching for windfalls. “The hand of the diligent makes rich,” and “the sleep of the laboring man is sweet.”
2. I could point you to many young women, who are looking for admiration in the wrong place. They dress themselves up in finery, and go flaunting about, and giving themselves airs of importance. But they never find what they seek. A gentleman does not admire them; for he sees plainly enough that they are not ladies. A poor man does not admire them; for he sees, from their very outside appearance, that they would bring misery and ruin to a poor man’s cottage; and every man of sense, instead of admiring, despises vanity and affectation. Indeed, it may be said, that wherever admiration is looked for, it is in the wrong place: the likeliest way to find it, is not to look for it at all; but to think nothing about it, while we steadily go on doing our duty: then admiration comes unsought, like the shadow which flees the pursuer, but follows those who go right on their way. “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised: give her of the fruit of her hand, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
King Solomon complained that he found not one virtuous woman, on whom dependence might be placed; it would have been strange indeed if he had, while he looked in the wrong place. He sought among a crowd of worthless beauties, not in the domestic retirement of marital felicity.
3. Those young people look for enjoyment in the wrong place, who seek it in a selfish, perverse following of their own way, and throwing off parental restraints. All who expect happiness in the indulgence of evil tempers and wicked propensities will find themselves grievously mistaken.
4. Even of those who are actuated by better motives and principles, it has been well said, “Christians are to blame: first, for seeking for that in themselves, which can only be found in Christ, namely, righteousness and strength, stability, fullness and perfection; secondly, for seeking that in the law, which can only be found in the gospel—pardon, consolation, peace, and hope; and, thirdly, for seeking that upon earth, which can only be enjoyed in heaven—a settled home, and perfect happiness.”
– Gorham Abbott, The Family At Home