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The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
– Proverbs 21:5

Diligence. The wisdom of this word does not always land easy on the ears or on the heart because it reminds us of another word – responsibility. Sometimes just thinking about our current responsibilities sends cramps of anxiety through our stomachs and adds weighed pressure on our shoulders – especially when we feel exhausted, spent, and dried up from the hard work of diligence already. We may blame diligence for causing this kind of exhaustion and resist carrying it with us into another day.

Perhaps this is how the sluggard feels in the book of Proverbs. He feels justified in his rest and inactivity because he’s exhausted with no more energy to spend toward his responsibilities that day. Have you ever been there? But, consider what the author says about the future of the sluggard. “The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing” (Proverbs 20:4). “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep and an idle person will suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15). “He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame” (Proverbs 10:5). When this person looks back on their disregard for responsibility, they’re left with no harvest, no provisions, only shame.

So, how do we feel better about the word diligence and get out of bed with it by our side? Let’s first realize diligence takes intentional effort and persistence, but it’s not over-functioning. We often want a get-rich-quick scheme or we want to stock up our hard work in our youth so we can let go of diligence in the future. Sadly, that’s not how we’re created to function. Simply put, diligence is faithfully doing the next thing to progress to your goal for your entire life. It encompasses the big picture of your life, but also the small incremental moments as well. This means diligence requires developing healthy rhythms to maintain sustainable progress – rhythms of work and rest, seasons of hard work and seasons of waiting, paces for longevity not paces of instant success.

We get the privilege of working with God on this earth and it’s a gift. Our faithfulness and diligence in carrying out the responsibilities we’ve been entrusted with becomes a blessing, not only for ourselves, but for the sake of our families, our communities, and our society. And every act of diligence starts one step at a time. Consider what one step of diligence you can take today for the building up of God’s world through the work he’s entrusted to you.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Yvonne Biel  

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