I am so grateful for a Dad who taught his sons the importance and value of a positive work ethic. For Dad Bartel (Ewalt by name) a full day’s work accomplishing physical tasks was one of the most satisfying things he enjoyed. (See the pic – I only wish I had a pic of him at work in his characteristic “bib overalls!”) Dad was a first generation son of a German immigrant. He did not speak any English until he was 12 years old and to the day of his departure from this life to heaven he spoke with a heavy German accent. I remember fondly, him sighing deeply after a full day of hard physical work on the farm saying, “Awk, dat vas a goot day!” He taught his sons to feel that way about a full day of constructive labor… “Awk, dat vas a goot day!”
Apostle Paul, felt the same way (but with a heavy Hebrew accent ! This is what he said…
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you… keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us… follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate… We gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6–10)
So, a positive work ethic is more than just a solid social value… It is a spiritual matter and part of a practical Christian testimony! Thank you Dad (Ewalt Walter Bartel) for inculcating it in the in the lives of your sons! I’ve tried to do it in the lives of my children. Jesus knew the fatigue that came from a full day in the carpenter shop – as well as the bone weariness of a full day of ministry to others. Paul knew the exhaustion of a long day of tent-making as well as mental fatigue that concern for all the churches brought to him. Practical Christianity here! The value of a positive work ethic!!