Word-y Gifts for Christian Faith & Life

Finding happiness through diligence

I was at the dentist’s office recently and was reminded both verbally (and physically) of the importance of diligence in maintaining good oral health. Sure, I had the equipment the hygienist talked about as she carefully but purposefully made her way through my mouth, I just had not been as diligent in using it. I knew it, and she could tell. After an examination, the dentist told me things were fine, but they could be better; she was doing her part but needed me to do mine. Immediately, I thought of a handful of other areas of my life where perhaps God might have been saying the same.

We all want to live happier, healthier, productive and more meaningful lives, yet we are not always willing to put in the effort to have them. Sometimes we don’t work diligently because we don’t really believe (because of past disappointments) that our hard work will pay off, other times we are tired, but most times, we just don’t feel like it. We don’t feel like getting up early every day to exercise or pray, we don’t feel like eating a salad, we don’t feel like practicing, we don’t feel like studying, we don’t feel like staying up late another night to finish a project, we don’t feel like doing something special for our spouse again this month, and, of course, we don’t always feel like flossing. Most times, we don’t particularly care what our inconsistency might be costing us until the “bill” comes …

The Bible is aware of the problem and has plenty to say about the importance of diligence. It presents it as a way of life for the believer (Col. 3:23); a path to promotion and wealth (Prov. 22:29; 10:4), spiritual maturity (Heb. 11:6; Deut. 4:29), and God’s blessings (Ex. 15:26; Deut. 28:1-2). It acknowledges that sometimes results don’t come as quickly as we would like, but insists that if we continue to diligently do what we know is right despite our weariness, they will (Gal. 6:9).

What we desire is available. The question is whether we are willing to work for it . . . daily, steadily, diligently.

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