What happens when we are diligent in any endeavor?
Proverbs 12 v 24: ‘The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute’.
Proverbs 12 v 24 (CEV): ‘Work hard, and you will be a leader; be lazy, and you will end up a slave’.
Remember that slothfulness is one of the antonyms of diligence; one who is not diligent is therefore slothful. Irrespective of the area of life: football, teaching, politics etc if you work hard, you’ll be a leader. It means you’ll be a champion and will be at the top of your field.
‘Work hard’ in Proverbs 12 v 24 means to be diligent in whatever is required to be done in that field or subject. Being a slave doesn’t mean one will be a slave to another person but it means to be a slave to a system. This means to be hemmed in, in life. If you don’t choose what you want you are going to have to stay with what you get; that’s the way life is. The diligent person will have authority and will be in control but the lazy one will be under tribute. We make the choices in life.
Learn to be diligent at work and in whatever field you’re in; be diligent in whatever you do whether you’re a student, journalist, teacher, news correspondent etc. Make the choice to be diligent in anything you want to achieve.
Proverbs 22 v 29: ‘Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men’
A diligent man will stand tall among kings; he’ll walk among them. He will be known among kings and not among obscure men. God cares about what happens to you as His child. He cares about the life that you live and the results that you get so be diligent in your business.
In being diligent, it’s important to know the tools you are going to need to be the man or woman that you dream to be; what are you going to do to achieve your dreams and goals? Once you outline what you need to do to achieve your dreams, you must be diligent to do them. This can also be in simple areas such as: putting off or putting on weight, in your health, exercising for fitness etc; you need to outline what you’re going to do and how you are going to follow it through. It’s about diligence. Are you going to make improvements on your job? And what will you do to make the improvements? Will you be diligent?
Remember that diligence refers to a careful, persistent and determined action, to achieve a definite purpose. In John 4 v 34, we see that Jesus was diligent:
John 4 v 34: ‘Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’
Jesus said that His food is to “do the will, the pleasure of Him that sent Him, and to accomplish and completely finish His work.”
Jesus wasn’t just doing the will of God, He wanted to complete it. There are people who never complete projects; they stop half way and never get their work completed. Imagine if the Gospel brought to us was not completed. On the cross Jesus said ‘it is finished’. He completed His work and now, the gospel is available and men are saved. If He hadn’t completed it, our salvation would have never been consummated, but He finished His work and at the end He said ‘it is finished’, and then gave up the ghost.
Jesus was diligent and lived in such a way to fulfil the Father’s will; He knew His purpose and His focus was on the Father’s will. Diligence is so important for the child of God. We’re supposed to copy Jesus and the Bible says for us to follow in His steps; act like Him. Jesus was diligent and we should be too.
If you’re always going late to work it means you are not diligent, because there is a time for resumption at work and you don’t comply. Whether you run your own business or you work in someone’s company or for the government, the Word of God says you shall stand before kings and not before mean men if you’re diligent; but if you are not diligent, He says you’ll be under tribute.
How diligent are you in the work of God, in the cell system, in studying the Word of God and in praying? Samuel the prophet said: ‘…God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you’ (1 Samuel 12 v 23). He realized that not to pray for God’s people was a sin.
Diligence is a quality of the human spirit and it’s not enough to be diligent in some things, God’s goal is for you to be diligent as a person, in all things. Diligence employs commitment and perseverance to transform vision into reality. And now as you’re learning the word on diligence, the seeds of diligence are being sown in your life because the Word of God has the capacity to produce in you, what it talks about.
As you’re hearing the Word on diligence, faith is stirred in you to actuate it. The seed is being sown now in your spirit and the question is whether you’re going to let it produce results. If you start walking in the light of what you’re being taught on diligence, then you’re letting the Word gain pre-eminence and allowing it have the ascendancy in your spirit. This will cause you to manifest wisdom in every way.
Remember that the Word says that ‘the hand of the diligent shall bear rule but the slothful shall be under tribute’ – this is a spiritual law in the kingdom of God. Irrespective of your place, rank or what you do, diligence will take you into a place of authority while slothfulness will put you under the task master; under forced labor. It doesn’t matter that you’re gifted; if you’re not diligent to utilize your gift properly it’ll be a mess. There are so many people that are gifted in so many things in life, but they’re slaves to the system; they are failures in life, not because they were not gifted but because they were indiligent.
- Is it possible to be over diligent?
- What if you’re diligent but your diligence doesn’t seem to be encouraged by your boss or organization?
ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- No, you cannot be over diligent; it’s like asking if one can be over good; you can’t be over good.
- Diligence is the quality of your personality. It’s a quality of your spirit so you don’t become diligent because they like you at work or because there are good incentives. Diligence is your person, it is the quality of your character. God requires it of you, not your boss. It’s a principle in the kingdom of God; if you become a diligent person, there are not enough people who hate you enough to keep you from coming to the top. But if you’ll give up your diligence because your boss has problems with you, and become slothful, the principle will work against you – the slothful will be under tribute, it means you’ll fail. God’s Word is spiritual law. ‘Proverbs 10 v 4-5 – he becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand …’ this is the future of some people. They are not yet poor but they are going to be because they are dealing with a slack hand, it’s a spiritual principle. Diligent people are the ones who make their companies prosper, so remain diligent irrespective of what anyone thinks of you.
At the end of this class each member should:
- Be acquainted with more scriptures on diligence
- Have an understanding of some areas to be diligent in
- Know the advantages of diligence and consequences of indiligence
The book of proverbs is very good for studying the subject of diligence because it was written by Solomon who was a very successful man. God made him the wisest man that lived until Jesus.
Proverbs 13 v 4: “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and (hath) nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat”.
This means that the appetite of the sluggard craves and gets nothing. He wants to have but God says, by spiritual law, that he shall have nothing.
1 Peter 5 v 2: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight (thereof), not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage but being ensamples to the flock.
1 Peter 5 v 2 (MSG): “Here is my concern that you care for God’s people with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.
This scripture should mean something to you. There are several examples of diligent men in the scriptures such as:
- Paul: 1 Timothy 1 v 11 & 12
1 timothy 1 v 11: ‘11According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
God counted Paul faithful and put him in the ministry. It was then up to Paul to act according to God’s image of him. God has an image of you but are you going to live according to His image of you? He has counted you faithful and given you a responsibility. Are you going to act according to what God thought about you or are you going to spoil the programming of your spirit? You were programmed to be a diligent and faithful person. Mount guard over your heart and make up your mind to be a diligent and faithful person in whatever responsibility you’re given because God has counted you faithful.
- Moses: The Bible says that Moses was faithful in all His house. He was therefore diligent because one cannot be faithful without being diligent.
Hebrews 3 v 1-2: ‘1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
Also in Hebrews 3 v 5: 5And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after
The quality of your spirit matters. God is not looking out to see whether you’re going to be a faithful person or not. What He does is to make you faithful by depositing the quality of faithfulness within you. Diligence is one of the things that faithfulness makes possible in your life; it is an attribute of faithfulness.
God has chosen us to be faithful. The Christ life in us is one of faithfulness so refuse to be unfaithful and indiligent, but rather be trusted to do things right.
Areas to be diligent in:
We are to be diligent in the following areas:
- Christian conduct: Diligence in Christian conduct includes being diligent:
- In prayer: 1Thessolians 5 v 17; James 5 v 16; 1 Timothy 2 v 1
- In studying the Word: 2 Timothy 2 v 15
- In the ministry of reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5 v 17. We have to preach the Word and share the gospel with others to bring them to Christ. We must be diligent in winning souls. Jesus said ‘…hPeace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you’ (John 20 v 21)
- In fellowshipping with other believers of the same mind: Hebrews 10 v 24-25.
We must be diligent in attending meetings and fellowshipping with other believers. Our Christian growth is enhanced through fellowship.
- Diligence in fulfilling your purpose: 2 Peter 1 v 10; Hebrews 6 v 12
Jesus is the best example of someone who was diligent in fulfilling his purpose: John 4 v 34: ‘Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’. Jesus fulfilled His purpose. Paul is another example of one who fulfilled his purpose, so much so that in 2 Timothy 4:7, he said, “…I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…” He knew he had completed his work. In Hebrews 6 v 12, we are encouraged to follow those who are good examples; those who are making a success of their spiritual lives.
- Diligence in duty and service: Proverbs 10 v 4; Proverbs 22 v 29.
Be diligent in your duty and service. A bad boss shouldn’t change your character. Jacob is an example of someone who had a bad boss: his uncle who cheated him and changed his wages 10 times (Genesis 31 v 38 – 43). In spite of all his uncle did to him, Jacob remained diligent. He didn’t change his character because his boss was bad. He remained faithful and served God as he should, and served his boss right, even though his boss was a cheat. Can you say that you have been consistently diligent on your job? Diligence is something you find with people raised by God for excellence.
Advantages of being diligent
Some advantages of diligence are:
- God rewards diligence.
- Diligence brings the blessings of God to your life.
- Diligence brings favour.
- Diligence brings promotion.
- Diligence brings wealth.
- Diligence makes you excellent.
Consequences of being indiligent
Here are a few questions for your personal attention in connection with the subject of diligence:
- Have you been diligent in prayer?
- Have you been diligent in the Word?
- Have you been diligent in ministry?
- Have you been diligent in giving and tithing?
- Have you been diligent in your job at work or in your business?
- Have you been diligent in attending training programs, classes, lectures etc?
Some lessons learnt from the beginning of this study are:
Diligence is conscientiousness in paying proper attention to a task, giving the degree of care required in a particular situation. It is the exercise of carefulness, persistence and determination in any endeavour to achieve a determined goal.
God wants us to be diligent, He wants us to put some care, attention, persistence and determination in the things that He tells us to do; in things that make progress.
We give diligence to make our calling and election sure by mounting guard over our hearts. God has called, elected and chosen us for a purpose and for that purpose to be established and fulfilled in our lives, we must mount guard over our hearts with all diligence; not allowing just anything come in or allowing ourselves to think just any thought. We must learn to say no to contrary thoughts and control our minds with the Word.
You mount guard over your heart by not allowing yourself to dwell on anything that’s inconsistent with the Word of God, and not allowing your heart to accept thoughts and imaginations that are inconsistent with the nature, will and purpose of God.
Everything you need to live the life that God has given you is going to come from your heart, and if you change God’s programming for your life, by allowing the wrong information come into your spirit, you would become somebody else and will live a life different from what God planned for you.
A diligent man will stand tall among kings; he’ll walk among them. He will be known among kings and not among obscure men. God cares about what happens to you as His child. He cares about the life that you live and the results that you get, so be diligent in your business.
Diligence is a quality of the human spirit; it’s not enough to be diligent in some things; God’s goal is for you to be diligent as a person; to be diligent in all things. Diligence employs commitment and perseverance to transform vision into reality.