"Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains." -William Penn
We are diligent to complete a task promptly and thoroughly when asked.
"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing. But the soul of the diligent is made fat."
Cinnamon-pecan pancakes with scrambled-cheese-sour cream eggs provided the perfect entree into our Sunday morning devotion. Psalm 37 was the subject--waiting for God, cultivating faithfulness, staying faithful. A feast always leads the way to great discussions and today was no exception.
Each year, we gather the the kids from all over the world to have Family Day, (a celebration we began over 30 years ago.), and so my mama heart is so very happy to have everyone home. Amidst the gathering on couches, going on long walks, eating out, hiking, I just sit and smile in my soul. To see their faithfulness amidst living in secular culture, and to watch their integrity grow as they strain towards pleasing God is what I always hoped would happen.
I always hoped they were listening to our family devotionals but now I know the verses and wisdom was being planted in their hearts, even when I could not see.
Keep training, keep straining towards His ways, and you will find a harvest of righteousness--the kind that will keep them persevering in their lives, staying faithful to relationships, seeking to serve God.
Quitting jobs, quitting school, quitting on marriage, quitting on friendship, quitting on God, just quitting is acceptable in every area of our lives. Often we use the word grace as an covering to all people in all circumstances who make wrong decisions, who fail to be wise, who prove to be lazy.
Just "quitting" has become an acceptable choice, an excusable choice. We blame others for our difficulties instead of choosing to be diligent to overcome our challenges. A lack of godly character is at the base of Christians having no impact on culture. Christians are as likely to except mediocrity as non-believers.
Yet, God gave us the capacity to "muscle-up" in life in order to be conquerers, to defeat the darkness, to work to completion. How many times have I been sorely tempted to give up on some of my ideals--my children have tested my patience and faith. Homeschooling challenged me to the core. Repetitive financial issues have tempted me to believe that God did not hear my prayers. People's negative voices in my life have caused me to second guess my ideals, and tempting me to think they did not matter.
Yet, God's word kept telling me to persevere, to be diligent, to overcome, to keep going. And by His grace, now I am so very thankful that He increased my capacity to work hard when I had grown up lazy. He stretched my faith so that I could live long enough to see His faithfulness. He kept me faithful through the hard times in marriage so that now I have a heritage of unconditional love.
We read that one of the fruits of the spirit is faithfulness--faithfulness is staying diligent to remain at the task or issue at hand. Paul, who suffered so much at the hands of persecutors, knew the importance of diligence.
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:58
Learning the importance of diligence in every endeavor of life is essential for fruitfulness in life. Though the world is in rebellion against God and His design, and thus our work is challenging, our relationships are fraught with pain, His spirit of redemption comes alive when we are diligent to complete the tasks we have been given to complete. Diligence is the energy, the inner will of determination to keep going, that provides the power to overcome in life.
I was not prepared to do housework, wake up with littles all night and then be responsive during the day. Diligence is a road, a direction, not a perfect rule to keep. It is moving toward maturity, not perfection.
When a mama trains her children, bit by bit, to work harder, to keep going, to develop an inner sense of integrity in work, faith, service, friendship and love, this child will become strong inside. To have a habit of diligence, to own the value of diligence in one's heart, provides the power, the strength to keep going--to move the mountains in his life.
Daily life is where diligence is trained and learned. As our children watch our diligence, and experience our love, they develop a heart to be diligent as we are. Giving children work to complete develops moral strength. Helping children to persevere in difficult relationships teaches them to be faithful in adult relationships.
If we do our children the disservice of taking them out of all difficult circumstances, then we are guilty of giving them a weak character. Diligence is a gold key to becoming productive and influential in life.
This week's way is crucial to the core of our children's character and will even help them to learn to stay faithful in times of doubt. When they learn to be diligent in one area, it spills into all areas of life. This is why it is crucial that we train this attribute into the very core of our children's values about themselves. We do it by gentle, daily, little by little, consistent training over a young lifetime at home.
But when it grows in the heart of the child, he will become the person who is reliable. This child will get the jobs he hopes for, work hard to reach ideals. If you love your child, you must patiently pursue this character quality in the life of your home and in your own life, and then you will see the ultimate reward of your own faith, as you learn to wait on God patiently and to work diligently in life to bring Him glory. May God find our hearts and works diligent as we see the blessing of His ways, in His time.
Thanks again for all the wonderful notes and emails about how Own Your Life has encouraged and challenged you. Maybe it is the 24 Ways of Righteousness for women! I can't answer every message I receive, but I do pray for all of you and am so grateful to hear from you.
This is a great time to read Own Your Life to help center priorities for a new school year ahead.
You can find it HERE!