At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
He that laboureth laboureth for himself; For his mouth craveth it of him (KJV).Proverbs 16:26
The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on (NKJV).
A working man’s hunger is the equivalent of a blinking fuel gage. God created us in such a way as to require food, and without it we cease to function.
In the first place, a man works for himself. This is simple creational self-interest, and there need be no selfishness in it. The things that make us want to watch out for ourselves—seeking warmth, or shelter, or food, or drink—might provide an occasion for sin, but there are not sinful in themselves.
If a man wants to come in out of the rain, that is in his self-interest to do so, but it need not be selfish. If a man wants to eat when he is hungry, or drink when he is thirsty, that need not be selfish and sinful. We can say the same about all of our creational desires.
Not only so, but God made these desires in such a way as to motivate us. Here in this proverb, a man’s hunger drives him on. He keeps working because he wants to have dinner that night.
One of the great mistakes that Christians make when it comes to economics is the mistake of confounding self-interest, which God gave to us, and selfishness, which we collaborated with the devil on. Selfishness and self-interest are not the same thing at all.