This post is part of our Sunday Series titled “Articles of Faith.”
We investigate leadership lessons from the Bible.
See the whole series here. Published only on Sundays.
Most people are diligent in some area of their life.
Diligence shows up in many different places in people’s worlds. With many, sports is a pursued pass-time, while others may enjoy working in their gardens.
Even lazy people are diligent. You guessed it… they work at doing nothing! :)
One thing is certain, everybody, especially God’s people, must be diligent in whatever they come into contact with. By that, I mean we should endeavor to work hard at the task at hand. If we are to clean our house, then we should do it deliberately, and effectively! If we are praying, then we should actively engage ourselves completely in that labor.
Benefit From Diligence
Even to the casual observer, you can see the benefits of being diligent. Michael Jordan did not become the mighty athlete that he did by mediocrity. Lou Ferrigno‘s strength was not acquired by laziness and eating pretzels. Each of these men benefited from diligence! This is plain to see. The Bible vividly portrays three specific things which diligence can produce. Let’s examine them!
#1 – Diligence Can Produce Favor
(Proverbs 11:27) “He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.” (KJV)
Did you know that you can gain favor from God and man by simply being diligent? The implication from this verse of Scripture is that when someone is early at the task of doing good and right they get favor. This goes a long way in shoring up a solid Christian testimony. On the other hand, when somebody is actively pursuing wrong, they receive their due reward.
Every leader, whether in the business world or in the church body, must have favor to be effective. The tendency is to get favor at any cost which can lead to sin. Hypocrisy is rampant among many leaders. From parents raising a family on Main Street to the CEO on Commerce Avenue, people are ever increasingly finding themselves guilty of ill gotten favor. God says that diligently following good will result in favor. Being held in high regard with our fellow man for the consistent and persistent race for righteousness is priceless!
One never knows just exactly how favor pays off. It might be one lone act that you thought nobody saw which will lead to that much needed raise in pay or promotion to another position. It might be that act of kindness years ago that leads to someone going the extra mile for you in your emergency!
Diligence can produce favor and favor can pay off!
#2 – Diligence Can Produce Prosperity
(Proverbs 10:4) “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (KJV)
(Proverbs 13:4) “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” (KJV)
One reason why I like the Free Market Economy and Capitalist System is because of this Bible principle. When you are diligent, you will be rewarded. The Bible makes the statement that in all labor there is profit. How True! The slacker and the sluggard will not benefit by their behavior and will, no doubt, suffer loss. However, when someone works hard at their job, they will be rewarded. Yes, there are numerous examples of where people were overlooked and Corporate America hurting the little man, but that is because of the sin of man. God blesses those who work hard!
Notice also that diligence doesn’t necessarily produce material things. God says that one can be made “rich” and “fat”. Both of these terms are relative to God’s divine touch on our lives. Yes, Abraham, Job, and Jacob, are all examples of wealthy men in the Scripture. They all had the touch of God on their lives. Their testimony is well marked by the wealth they received, but consider the fact that numerous people in the Bible were diligent and did not have great material wealth. For example, the Apostle Peter did not have vast stores of material things as Abraham did, but certainly he had God’s blessing and was prosperous.
Applying this idea to the business world is very easy. When you diligently perform your tasks at hand, your team, office division, etc. will be prosperous. You can be more productive by not wasting time, thereby inviting the opportunity to be rewarded by superiors. Considering Main Street; what family is not prosperous!
Having children to attend to, a place to shelter you from the elements, parents to feed and nurture you, are all examples of prosperity!
#3 – Diligence Can Produce Honor/Position
(Proverbs 12:24) The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. (KJV)
(Proverbs 22:29) Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (KJV)
From our verses above you can see how diligence plays a vital role in holding position (bear rule: has the idea of a “marshal”) rather than being a slave, and how hard work brings promotion! Although there is always an exception to the rule, 99.9999999% of the time nobody is promoted unless they, in some form or fashion, have earned it. The standard by which the promotion came is relative to the circumstance, but diligence played an active part.
(Psalms 75:6-7) “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (KJV)
I feel that the Bible clearly indicates that we can increase the scope of our dominion, if I can put it that way, by diligence. A small business owner can open a second store and a third, and a fourth, etc. by diligence. A Sunday School teacher can increase their class size by diligent study and preparation as well as by personally inviting people to come to class. Before long, the diligence pays off and a second class is formed.
With each example, you can see how that reputation/honor is gained and public recognition could take place.
In summary, one must be diligent in order to be the effective servant leader that God intends them to be. Inconsistent behavior will drain the swamp, so to speak. Many try to take shortcuts in their business and personal lives, but God sees all. Even though we might see the flaws in other folks’ character and wonder how they get by without practicing a diligent work ethic, God will take care of us!
Bottom line… BE DILIGENT!
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