Diligence means – eagerness, be prompt or earnest, wholly, thoroughly, consistent, seek after carefully, perseverance. Diligence is investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me. Diligence is accepting each task as a special assignment from the Lord and using all my energy to do it quickly and skillfully.
3 EXAMPLES OF DILIGENCE
The Proverbs 31 Woman
In the last chapter of Proverbs, King Lemuel describes a godly woman whose life is characterized by diligence as well as other qualities. This is a description of a type of woman and not necessarily a specific individual. Many of the descriptors refer directly to the investment of her time and energies.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands… (13)
She gets up while it is still dark…(15)
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (17)
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (27)
There are many other people in Scripture who exhibit diligence. One such person is Epaphras. Epaphras is mentioned only two times in Scripture. He probably started the church in Colossae. At the end of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he writes this about Epaphras:
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. (4:12-13)
In these two brief sentences the diligence of Epaphras, including his diligence in prayer, was spoken of twice. He did not just pray, but he “always wrestled in prayer”. And what is there that requires more work, focus and energy than prayer?! Paul also testified that Epaphras was “working hard” for the believers at the young churches. Epaphras’ diligence was making an eternal difference in the lives of believers in that time!
Jacob in Genesis 31:38-43 endured the hardship that Laban put on him over the twenty years which he was in his house, but God turned it around and Jacob left with great riches.
WHY DO WE NEED DILIGENCE
- To hear and obey God – Exodus 15:24-26, Psalms 119:4, Deuteronomy 6:17-19
- To receive full reward of labour – Deuteronomy 11:13-15, Proverbs 13:4
- To get the attention of God – Jeremiah 29:13, Hebrews 11:6
- To prosper in all your doings – 2 Chronicles 31:20-21, Proverbs 14:2
- To preach the Gospel always – I Thessalonians 2:9, Acts 5:41
- To pray fervently – Mark 1:35
- To be matured Christian having fruits of the Spirit – II Peter 1:4-10, 2nd Corinthians 8:7, Hebrews 6:11-12.
- To strive after perfection – Philippians 3:13-14
- To be Holy and live above sin – 1st Peter 5:8-9, Hebrews 12:13-15
HOW DO I BECOME DILIGENT
- By the help of the Holy Spirit: Ask God to empower you with the zeal for diligence. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you up and follow up with action by working towards the goals you have set.
- By Conscious Practice: Diligence needs to be more than a theoretical concept we discuss. For it to become an deep-rooted character quality it must be practiced daily. That means we must will and strive to be diligent. Some practical evidences of diligence you can use is to adopt the “I will” statements:I will not be lazy. I will offer best products and services to my customers, I will concentrate on my work, I will not be judgmental, I will follow instructions, I will have a dedicated study time for God, I will not be lazy.
- By Personal Appraisal and Reflection: Spend a few minutes in personal reflection:
- How has a lack of diligence negatively affected your life in the past year, month, week, day? (It can be your own lack of diligence or another person’s lack of diligence.)
- If it was your lack of diligence, what will you do to remedy the situation? Who will help you?
- If it was not your lack of diligence, reflect on the “I will” statements. Which one is the easiest for you to follow? Which one is the most difficult? Why? What will you do to improve? Who will help you?
Honest answers to these questions and your determination to take steps towards improvement and adjustments leading to diligence in your daily living will help a great deal. Step by step, day by day, you will increase in diligence and reap all the benefits and joy that accrues.
DISCUSSION/ACTIVITY (Divide into pairs or groups)
- Think of a person you know who is diligent. Describe what you observe in this person that causes you to call them diligent.
- What are some of the benefits of being diligent?
(Some possible answers: pleases God, thoughtful and considerate of others, meets deadlines, good team player)
- What factors in our lives sometimes make it difficult to be diligent?
(Some possible answers: Schedule too busy, our culture wants “instant” results, too many distractions—TV, videos, etc., )
- How can you tackle the factors you have recognized as obstacles to diligence?