If you haven't noticed, it is hard to motivate others.  We live in a culture where you can be who and what you want to be.  If you don't feel like doing something, then it is ok to be a free spirit.  Moving back into your parent's basement after graduating college is the new norm.  When you don't feel like holding down a real job, you find other things to fill your time.

I recently heard a story from my wife of a young lady that just graduated college.  Her mother was asked what her daughter was going to do for a job now that she is done with her four-year degree.  The mother's answer was that her daughter does not want to work and is considering participating in missions trips to fill her time.  All at the same time camping out in her parent's basement.  I don't know about you, but when I was younger, I had multiple jobs before I could even drive a car.  No way could I imagine spending four years and thousands of dollars on college only to sit at home.

Just like the example that I just gave you, many parents are facing the task of motivating their children.  Now I am not trying to knock people that participate in mission trips.  They serve a great purpose.  But to be unmotivated to get a job and treat mission trips as short vacations, well I do have a problem with that.  As a society when we cannot motivate others to do simple tasks such as get a job or get a place of their own, we are in serious trouble.

How does the Bible tell us to motivate others?

One verse comes to mind when I think of working.  Colossians 3:23 tells us that what ever we do we should do it as if we are doing it for the Lord.  Not holding down a job and living at home well after you are a grown adult is not working for the Lord.  I realize that certain circumstances prohibit some people from moving out.  But where I come from, a job is a job no matter how much it pays.  The work may not be ideal, the pay may not be great and the hours may not work with your schedule.  But guess what?  Having a job is better than not having a job at all.

Colossians 3:23 NASB Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

How do we motivate others with idle hands?

The verse below from Proverbs is a pretty blunt example of what being unmotivated leads to.  As a parent, I give my children age appropriate tasks for them to manage.  They get a sense of self-worth when they work.  Taking pride in what they do acts as a motivator for my children.  It brings great satisfaction to me seeing my kids value a hard days work.  Rolling up your sleeves and working hard is a great way to build self-esteem.  It is time for parents to quit crippling their children by enabling their bad behavior.  When you support laziness, you contribute to the problem.

Proverbs 10:4-5 NASB 4 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.