One of the unfortunate side effects of our ‘everybody gets a trophy’ world is the conditioning that just showing up is enough and all there is to receive the reward of accomplishment. Yes, presence and being available is important, yet to accomplish and achieve it takes diligence and the grit of perseverance. Beethoven was not born with his talent; he sharpened his piano skills through diligent practice. Walt Disney diligently pushed through failure and the natural pushback of innovation to create an amazing entertainment giant. Milton Hershey diligently pursued his dream of bringing milk chocolate to all and if you are a chocolate lover like me, you are so glad he did! I’m craving a s’more right now!! Diligence is difficult, demanding, and daring, but so worth it!
I was waiting for a meeting outside of a local coffee shop. A group of young adults were next to me chatting and talking about all their summer adventures they had been on and going to take. They were also discussing, or more critiquing, the latest movie they had viewed. They were dressed in the normal summer garb of shorts, tank tops, and sandals, with a few looking like they had just rolled out of bed. When up walked another 20-something dressed up in a sharp suit and tie, hair combed, and you could smell the pleasant fragrance of nice cologne. The guys around the table all sat up and expressed a bit of shock and awe of this apparent friend. “Wow,” one said. “You look amazing! Is this for that new internship you went for?” The well-dressed young man smiled and nodded as he straightened his tie. One of the other guys touted, “Your never going to see me ‘dress up’ for nobody, they have to take me as I am…” Another guy looked straight back at this guy and interjected, “…and why your never going to get anywhere!” They all laughed, but you could tell that retort sunk deep.
To dare to be diligent means we do what it takes to be sharper, we make tough life-changing decision, we push through failure, we seek to be intentional, and we hunt after our goals. The Bible presents us with some great challenges to be diligent.
Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
Proverbs 12:24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty
The word diligent in these passages means to sharpen, to make decisions, to make choices, to hunt after, to be intentional. The Bible also pulls from nature to give us a good example of diligence.
Proverbs 6:6-116 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest- 11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
The idea is to do what Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” So dare to be diligent. Be diligent with your occupation, education, marriage, time with your families and friends, recreation, and most certainly with your faith! There is amazing joy in the journey of diligence. What will you dare to be diligent in today?
Maybe you could dare to be diligent and attend a church this Sunday? Church is a great place to foster diligence of faith. If you don’t already have a church you attend regularly, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net. We would truly enjoy connecting with you.