Megillah 6b states:
ואמר ר' יצחק אם יאמר לך אדם יגעתי ולא מצאתי אל תאמן לא יגעתי ומצאתי אל תאמן יגעתי ומצאתי תאמן הני מילי בדברי תורה אבל במשא ומתן סייעתא
Rabbi Yitzḥak said: If a person says to you "I have labored and not found success," do not believe him. Similarly, if he says to you "I have not labored but nevertheless I have found success," do not believe him. If, however, he says to you: I have labored and I have found success, believe him.
This applies to matters of Torah, but with regard to success in business- it all depends upon assistance from Heaven
3 scenarios are stated in this gemara:
- a) Labored and not found success - DO NOT believe
- b) Not labored and found success - DO NOT believe
- c) Labored AND found success - DO believe
I understand how b) makes sense- a person who hasn't worked hard likely won't find success. I also understand how c) makes sense: a person who has labored and toiled over learning Torah will likely find success.
It's a) that I'm having trouble understanding.
What does "I have labored in Torah study and haven't found success- don't believe him" mean? Does this mean the person really did find success in learning yet for whatever reason is not telling the truth about it? (why would someone say such a statement)
How to make sense of this statement?