Let’s go to the bee, you sluggards, and learn his ways. Aristotle, who strolled through the great outdoors and taught about what he observed, spent several pages describing the bee. He said the drones were a rather worthless kind of bee, which could not sting and would not work. The drones almost never left the hive.
In sharp contrast to the drones were “the good working bees.” These bees gathered the nectar, built the honeycomb, and defended the hive. Aristotle had a clear preference for these useful little fellows, describing them in four different places as “good working.”
The word Aristotle used for “good working” was chrestos (kray STOSS). It came from a verb that meant “to be useful and productive.” A chrestos house was orderly and well-kept; a chrestos meal was healthy and tasty. Chrestos people were decent, honest, and upright.
In Scripture, however, the word chrestos is usually just translated “kind.” If we think of “kind” as no more than mild and pleasant, we have lost an important element of the word. In the Old Testament, for example, we notice that when God is called “kind” He is actively doing something for our benefit. He gives what is chrestos and the land yields its harvest (Ps. 85:12). In a chrestos way He teaches His ways (Ps. 119:69). Because God is chrestos He helps the poor (Ps. 67:10). David said he would praise God for what He has done, for God is chrestos (Ps. 52:9).
This brings us to a New Testament passage where chrestos is used. In Matthew 11:30 Jesus invites the weary to come to Him, because His yoke is chrestos and His burden is light. What is a chrestos yoke? It is a yoke that is kind to the shoulders, well-suited for the task. Like Aristotle’s honey bee, it is “good working” and productive. The yoke may ride easy, but it’s designed for work!