The Plans of the Diligent

It seems to me that sticking to a plan or staying the course is much more uncommon today. Marriages, financial plans, parenting philosophies, careers, church ministry plans — you name it. I suppose it’s because of a world where information moves so quickly. The next great idea often looks better than slogging away at the challenge-filled, unclear status quo.

I’m not knocking change. Change can be good. Progress is better. But, hastiness ends plans badly. Proverbs 21:5 contrasts, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”

A fulfilled, prosperous life requires diligence defined by “steady, earnest and energetic effort” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. Think of the talented athlete who chooses not to practice with full effort or the person who maintains a lukewarm relationship with the Lord — both a waste of gifts. This lack of fulfillment is the essence of real poverty.

Diligence, on the other hand, brings advantage. A diligent person is focused, consistent, patient and determined. I think of several biblical examples to confirm these descriptions of diligence.

Nehemiah was focused to re-build the walls of Jerusalem in the face of distractions and opposition.

Daniel was so consistent in his time set aside for the Lord that even an edict meant to derail him backfired on its initiators.

David, with the early promise of becoming King of Israel, patiently stayed the course in allowing God’s timing for his Kingship even with opportunity to slay his oppressive predecessor, King Saul.

The apostle Paul spread the Gospel of Christ’s Kingdom with determination that exchanged his personal freedom and physical well-being for the opportunity to share in front of as many people as would accept it.

They commonly shared an undying allegiance to the plan built on God’s direction and truth and the hope of an awesome result. Where else were they going to go? What else were they going to do? Their foundation was too strong. They fixed their errors with evaluation and repositioning. They overcame the opposition with wisdom from the Lord and a desire to succeed. They diligently trusted in the Lord to make good from what they knew was from Him in the first place.

We need to remember these examples. Today’s world, with unlimited information on every desk and in every pocket, features constant distractions. But, diligence leads to advantage.
The elders of our society need to pass along their wisdom and all of life’s experiences to whoever will listen.

Family leaders need to have a plan and stay the course. Turning the kids over to youth pastors and having sporadic conversations with your wife won’t be enough.
Young people need to overcome the idea that their standard of living will continue once they leave mom and dad’s house. Life is a process and that standard must be earned with consistent effort.
The principled steward needs a plan built on the foundation of timeless principles. Fear and greed can bounce you around depending on the circumstances or you can diligently adhere to your plan knowing that the circumstances will always change.

We all need fervency for God and His ways. For “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV). And, if we understand that, we have an advantage.
Be diligent to see your God-inspired plans through to completion…

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