The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man's precious possession. - Proverbs 12:27
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius penned a pretty famous poem called Psychomachia, better known as Battle/Contest of the Soul. He was a Christian governor who passed away around 410 A.D. He was one of the forerunners in spreading the concept of holy virtue throughout Europe. The theme of the writing was centered on opposing the seven deadly sins. He entitled the writings The Seven heavenly virtues. In 2012 Jess C. Scott wrote two separate anthologies, entitled Self, which links each of these heavenly virtues to spiritual growth.
Here is how diligence is mentioned.
A zealous and careful nature in one's actions and work; decisive work ethic, steadfastness in belief, fortitude, and the capability of not giving up. Budgeting one's time; monitoring one's own activities to guard against laziness. Upholding one's convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching (integrity).
Well said. Just as these writers have concluded, diligence is a paramount virtue in the life of a leader. One cannot lead without a consistent injection of diligence in their mindset. Without it, the work that you have been called to do, the business you have been appointed to lead, the people you have been given to shepherd would fall prey to a lack of fulfillment and would be incredibly flawed. Understand this leaders, your destiny has no foundation without diligence. That is why we must hold on to it without all our might. We are told in Proverbs that it is man's most precious possession.
The proverbs 31 woman shows diligence. (Proverbs 31:13, 14, 17, 27)
Epaphras, who was only mentioned twice in scripture, showed diligence in prayer. (Colossians 4:12-13)
The tower of babel was built with diligence. (Genesis 11:1-9)
Imagine now what would happen if we, being in the will of God, would be diligent in our work. There is nothing we couldn't do. Destiny would be achieved and many awesome things would be done. But we must be diligent.
As leaders, we need to embrace diligence and guard against laziness. Here are three things that we should avoid to in order to get a stronger hold on diligence.
- Avoid things that don't deserve our time. - There are just some things in life, we just don't have to do. Things that suck our time and if we really think about it, we can live without. Think about this for a moment: How much time does the person you admire spend on Facebook and Instagram? Not much. How many worthless conversations do we enter into? Probably too much. As leaders, we need to make a clear distinction of what deserves our time, and what doesn't, and then give proper time to each. There is nothing wrong with facebook and instagram, however value is placed on things that you share your resources with. Time is a resource. Selah.
- Avoid doing too much. - One of the biggest mistakes of up and coming leaders, is that they put too much on their plate. Doing this will make you feel as if you must do everything, and if you don't have a good grasp on that, you will ultimately burn out. As leaders, we should not burn out. That is because true leaders understand that it is better to do one thing the best, than to do many things just good enough. As a leaders, you must again decide what is my limit to my plate. Set up guards, and don't be a transgressor of those limits. Set work boundaries and work days, and don't overstep them. The way of a transgressor is hard. Isn't that what the bible says (Proverbs 13:15)? Oh yeah, a transgressor is one who oversteps their boundaries. Selah
- Avoid life consuming people. - This is simple. Avoid people that suck the life out of, well...life. Time is too precious. Life is too valuable. And your diligence is directly related to how you are feeling. In the bible, we are told not to be anxious for nothing and do not worry. However, there are those times where the pressures of life and work may be a little stressful. It is in those times, that you not dwell in your anxiousness and worry, but seek peace and joy and get out of it. But when you have 'life suckers' around you, it is hard to get out of that rut of anxiety and worry. We are told in proverbs 12:25-26 that anxiousness in our hearts cause depression, but a good word makes the heart glad, and that we ought to choose our friends carefully. Make sure the friends and associates you have around you are not 'life suckers' causing you to stay in your anxiety, but 'life givers' which cause you to live in joy.
Hold on to diligence and don't lose it! As leaders we must remain diligent in our actions. Next time, we'll talk about some practical ways in which we as leaders can be more diligent and see God results in our lives and in the areas in which we lead.
Until next time, advance!