“We should on no account wear ourselves out with anxiety over our bodily needs. With our whole soul let us trust in God. … Show restraint and moderation. … Think of the spider and compare it with a human being. … It has no possessions, makes no journeys overseas, does not engage in litigation, … It does not meddle in the affairs of others. … Calmly and quietly it gets on with its own work. To those who love idleness it says, in effect: ‘If anyone refuses to work, he should have nothing to eat.’ Nevertheless the Lord … extends His providence even to the spider, sending it food every day. … One who is enslaved to greed may perhaps object: ‘I eat a great deal, and since this involves me in heavy expenses, I am inevitably tied up with all kinds of worldly business.’ Such a person should think of the huge whales that feed in the Atlantic ocean: God gives them plenty to eat and they never starve. … Bearing this in mind, anyone among you who has a capacious appetite should in future set his faith entirely in God.” ~The Philokalia
It is a lesson that has been taught and followed by many spiritual people since they beginning of time, yet continues to be lost on the materialist and the greedy. God does provide enough for each of us to live comfortably without having to work ourselves to death and without having to sacrifice our morals and beliefs in order to keep a job.
The mind is a very wonderful thing and we are still learning about it, but quite a bit is already known. We know that if you firmly believe something, your subconscious mind will try very hard to make it true, even if it does not benefit you to do so. If deep down you believe that you are a naughty person who deserves to be punished, your own subconscious will work to put you in situations where you get punished. Likewise, if you believe that you have to work twelve hour days, 80 hour weeks in order to make a decent living, that is exactly what you will have to do thanks to your subconscious making it so.
But there are others who do not get caught in this trap. St. Francis gave up the materialistic life he had been born into (his father was a wealthy cloth merchant), yet not only survived, but thrived. True, he did not have a 60 inch television in every room or a luxury car for every day of the weak, but those are not things he needed, even if they had existed in his time. Gandhi became very successful at what he did, yet did not work at a conventional job that paid him a regular salary. And modern day psychic Edgar Cayce is known to have told his assistants not to worry when money was tight because God would provide, and when his bills became due, somehow there was always enough money to pay them without having to sell his soul to the devil: the Lord of Materialism.
There is one catch to this, of course. The quote says that one must work to earn, and that is true, but it is a little more complicated than that. If you work your butt off in ways that are in total opposition to God, he is not going to provide for you. Instead, you will be rewarded by Satan, and stay forever in his control. But those who do God’s work, who work toward the completion of His Plan, will find themselves never having to sell out to survive. God and his many servants will care for those who also work for God, but will not help those who oppose Him. Also remember that God will provide for our needs, but not our greed.