DILIGENCE

“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”
Proverbs 10:4

There is much to be said about the importance of diligence, and the lack of it, in our lives. Webster defines diligence as: “1. Steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken, 2. Care; heed; heedfulness.” Diligence is the opposite of negligence, carelessness, inconsistency, or slothfulness. To be diligent is to be consistent and hard working, careful about one’s duty or responsibility.

As we embark on another year, we would be wise to consider how we make the most of the days God gives us. Our verse gives us divine counsel on the path to spiritual success: “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” God promises to bless diligence. When I was a child, there was a New Year’s tradition that was observed by all that I knew in our part of the country. It was said that the way to assure prosperity for the New Year was to make certain that the first thing you ate on January 1 was fresh-cooked black-eyed peas. Many nights we have eaten black-eyed peas just after midnight on New Year’s day. Other parts of the country have similar traditions. I don’t know if anyone really believed black-eyed peas could actually bring prosperity; it was just a tradition that was observed.

The Bible promises that diligence will bring blessing to our lives. We live in a society where laziness is rewarded. Many have abandoned diligence in favor of some “get rich quick” dream. The road to success is paved with hard work, carefulness, and consistency. It is in diligent, daily continuance that God promises His blessing will come.

As we begin another year, it would do us well to determine the kinds of things that God would have us give ourselves to, and then be diligent to continue doing them. Keep doing the things you know are right, and in time, you will see the reward. Keep reading your Bible daily. Continue being faithful in church. Be on time at work and do the best job you can. Spend less money than you make. Only buy what you can afford and only when you believe God approves of it. Give God the first day of your week and the first fruit of your increase. Be committed to continually doing what is right, not for just a few days, but for the rest of your days.