I came across this scripture, Proverbs 14:23, when I was in high school, feeling horrible about my work ethic. Something about it made sense and clicked in my brain. It gave me comfort, and it gave me sound direction. I still view it as one of my life’s mottoes. It’s very simple:
In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
When I first encountered it, I was struggling. My dad and I had had a hard time–he sometimes found it difficult to be understanding of my situation, probably in part because–ironically–he experiences many of the same symptoms himself, and knew what hard work it was mitigate them and make something of oneself.
When I saw this, it hit a very real place for me. I wrote it down on a 3X5 card and taped to to my door so that I could see it every day. It gave me comfort and counsel all at once. On the one hand, it made me feel okay, because in ALL labor there is profit–so even when it is hard for me, and I struggle for hours and hours to eke something out of my brain, there is profit in that labor. It is still worth something.
On the other, it warns that the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury. This is something, because my intentions were always good, I had (and still have) a problem with at times. I talk a really good game when it comes to getting things done, yet when it comes down to it talking about it has taken the energy out of actually doing it– a lot of times it’s all talk.
Talk tendeth to penury–to the poor house–to making me amount to nothing financial. This makes so much sense to me! What good is it to say something will get accomplished? None whatsoever. It simply robs energy and make one feel accomplished when nothing has actually happened. So much better it is to take that energy and actually do that thing.
I still view this quote as a guiding principle in my life–it works for me and my ADHD-I. It helps me. I’m glad I found it.