Diligence allows us to operate with our best for His highest with excitement and passion in order to complete our work and call from the Lord. It is practical obedience in action, which is the loving of our call and the pursuing of our work so we are doing our best for His glory. Diligence also helps facilitate us to develop a good attitude as well as confidence, patience, forgiveness, values, loyalty, integrity, and be in a place to build and develop a positive and attractive disposition to those with whom we work (Proverbs 10:4; Ecclesiastes 10: 10; Luke 16:10-12; Romans 12:11;Colossians 3:23).
Carelessness, neglect, and laziness are the opposites. When we stay in a rut or in a bad situation with continual weariness and fatigue, we will lose our primary focus, be ineffective, become a stumbling block to others, burn out, or go into a depression. We will miss out on other options and opportunities, start to disintegrate into a person with a bad attitude, and even become ill!Physical and emotional fatigue have bad attitude at their root, which can turn into spiritual fatigue. Thus, frustration, stress, worry, anger, guilt, indecision, unrealistic expectations, resentment, and many other negative emotions will accumulate and then compile upon us to bring us down in our personal relationships, relationships with family, and our relationship to God. We, therefore, will not be able to function as He called us, nor will we be able to worship Him effectively.
Initiative takes the lead and diligence keeps up the pace. These two characters converge to form industriousness, which is the principle work ethic of the Puritans that challenged America in the direction to make it the greatest and most successful county in history. Other counties have far more resources and better climate, but they bowed to forms of government that oppressed the people instead of creating industrious activates to inspire growth and development. Diligence is the essential ingredient to being an entrepreneur and success from business, to sports, to building a church. It is the number one key essential source of greatness. No great person in history lacked this character. The dark side is that over-industriousness can also fuel pride, even to the point of promoting megalomania personalities such as Hitler and Stalin. A Christian will also be disciplined in the faith and have the other characters in place to safeguard against such tendencies.
When we see work as drudgery and demeaning, something not worthy of our time, we will fail our Lord and miss out on many opportunities. There is no work too small, as our Lord worked as a tradesman, a carpenter. Paul made tents, Luke was a doctor, Philemon was a slave owner who saw diligence to free a slave. They, and all, did it with supreme excellence.
The authentic Christian should not wait to get to the practice of their talents in service for God as well as others, even if it is cleaning toilets. We all should strive to find what we are good at and then do it. We are to make ourselves better in our employment and service to God. We should always seek to be better through reading, seminars, schooling, listening, training, and study. Whatever task we do, even if it is way outside our gifts and talents, we must do it, and be our best-- period! And, when we have the attitude that our life depends on it, well it does. At least our livelihood and how we are with others determine that we will most likely succeed. The true disciple will endure to the end (Matt. 24:14)!
A champion athlete will "work with controlled frenzy" (John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach, considered the greatest coach ever).
Is the Character of Diligence working in you?
Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and fruit of Diligence from God's most precious Word by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
- How do I exhibit Diligence in my daily life?
- What can I do to develop a better attitude of taking the lead in being Diligent?
- What blocks Diligence from working and being exhibited in me?
- How can I make Diligence function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress?
·Here are positive examples from Scripture (Prov. 6:6-11; 31:10-31; Ruth 2:1-13; Mark 13:32-36; Acts 9:36-39)
·Here are negative examples from Scripture (Prov. 24:30-34; 26:13-16; Matt. 25:1-13; Mark 14:32-42)Further Questions
- How would you define Diligence? Do you consider yourself an industrious person, even if the boss is not around?
- What are the things that cause you not to work as hard as you are called?
- How does being careless counteract Diligence? How can you be a person who sees the value and importance of work, regardless of what the task is?
- What happens to our relationships with God and others when we refuse to work our best and/or complain about what we do?
- When have you been filled with Diligence the most?
- In what situation did you fail to be industrious when you should have been?
- What issue is in your life that would improve with more Diligence?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Diligence into action in a specific instance, such as allowing yourself to be accountable to someone to help keep you on track and motivate you to be more responsible. How can you be more industrious to be better at your job and church?