Where do we get the idea, former procrastinators, that diligence means constant work? Relieve yourself of that burdensome thought!
Diligence is steady, earnest, and energetic effort, persevering application. It means keep after it, stay with the task until it’s complete. Maybe that means every day, or twice a week, or twice a month according to what is appropriate for the job. Don’t let it get “cold” and sit unaddressed. Of course, you also need to shower, eat, cook, play, sleep, work on other things.
Numerous Proverbs commend diligence. Here are a few more verses. None requires neglect of the hearts, minds, and bodies God’s given us.
“Earnestly seek Him” Hebrews 11:6
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord” Colossians 3:23
“I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.” Psalm 119
“Give yourself fully to the work of the Lord” I Corinthians 15:58
If the Lord has entrusted you with employment, a home, husband, children, teaching – then that is the work of the Lord for you. You may also have other work of His to do.
Faithful showing up and earnest application. As we strain toward what is ahead and press on toward “the goal,” we also rest and play. The God who urges diligence and assures us of its benefits, is the same God who makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters. He established Sabbath rest. He commanded feasts and celebrations.
Constant work is not scriptural or healthy and does not glorify God. Even if we “love” our work, or it’s highly demanding, it’s still counter- productive to focus only there. Rest and play are restorative and boost our creative abilities.
Do we think “busy” equals diligent? Are we constantly working to avoid thinking about things we’d rather not? Because it seems natural? Because we mishandle our time? Because we’re truly overloaded?
What arrangements will you make this week to build regular breaks into your day?