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What Is Diligence? (Proverbs 12:24, Proverbs 12:27)

Introductory Thoughts

Sometimes a Bible word is best defined by first establishing what the word does not mean. Biblical diligence is such a case in point. A diligent man is one who is not slothful or lazy according to Proverbs 12:24. Proverbs 10:4 bears witness to this fact by contrasting the diligent with those who are slack or careless. According to Proverbs 13:4, a diligent man is not a sluggard. Yet, the Bible also points out that the diligent are to be properly balanced by not hastily rushing through work (Proverbs 21:5). Each of these truths concerning diligence reveals that diligence involves working hard, but with great care and concern. In a world filled with those who choose either quantity or quality of work, God counsels His children to be concerned with both. This is diligence!

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): When we have a job to do, God wants us to do our very best. When you are asked to do a job at home or at church, do you hurry through it or take enough time to make sure that it is done right?
  • (For everyone): Look up and read each of the verses mentioned above. What are the benefits associated with being diligent? Do those benefits make sense now that you understand the definition of diligence?
  • Consider the words slothful, sluggard, and hasty. Do those words better describe your work ethic? Do they describe your service to God? Do they describe your relationship to God?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you to be diligent in everything you do and in every area of your life.
  • Ask God to show you any slothfulness in your life so that you can repent of this sin and determine to never allow it again.