Proverb for Today
Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored. (Proverbs 27:18, MEV)
Not being super familiar with fig trees (the picture on this post is of figs), up until today I’ve completely missed the point of this verse.
What is meant by “keeping a fig tree”? Simply, tending to it, taking care of it until it reaches the point where it can bear fruit.
Here’s where things get interesting especially in our day of immediate gratification: typically, fig trees take at least two years before they start to produce fruit, but they can take up to six years to reach full maturity—and there’s nothing that can be done to speed up the process!¹
Can you imagine waiting six years to be able to enjoy the fruit of a tree you planted?! Six. Years.
That’s a lot of patience, but ask anyone who has fruit trees, the wait is more than worth it. Once the trees are mature, you have fresh fruit whenever the tree is in season!
The point being made in today’s comparison in proverbs is this: just like waiting for a fig tree to mature, put in the time at work, be patient in serving your master, and in the proper season, you will be honored.
That’s not a message we get super excited about. I struggle with patience. I have to consciously decide to avoid immediate gratification. But patience always pays off.
Specifically in the context of your workplace, or wherever you find yourself under a “master,” don’t focus on the attention or recognition you think you’re due. Put in the effort and in time, you will be honored.
Reflect and Respond
- How can you better practice patience in the workplace, specifically concerning recognition or attention from your boss?
- Do you think it’s possible that by waiting for honor to come your way instead of expecting it, that the reward will be better than what you would’ve asked for? Is this worth the wait?
- How can you help those around you practice contentment, avoid comparison in the workplace, and model patience?