Diligence Not Excuses


Excuses are the language of the lazy. Diligence is encouraged by what can be done, not discouraged by what can’t be done.

A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!" Proverbs 26:13 

Excuses are the language of the lazy. Instead of taking responsibility, they assign blame. What someone else hasn’t done is the reason a project hasn’t been completed. The weather disrupted a deadline, a vendor delayed, an illness struck a team member, traffic made me late, we need more resources, ‘they’ changed their mind, the company doesn’t communicate, I am overwhelmed and I need more time. Where diligence is not in play any excuse will do: fear of a wild animal today might be fear of failure. Thus, we overcome our excuses with focused diligence on priorities.

Diligence is encouraged by what can be done, not discouraged by what can’t be done. Instead of procrastination there is proactivity. The diligent are motivated by the outcomes that will make them better and those around them better. For example, diligence doesn’t talk about reading a book one day. They systematically set up a simple process to read (or listen to) a chapter a day. After thirty days they have completed a thirty chapter book or two books with fifteen chapters! The motto of the diligent is no excuses, only ways to move forward. Submit to resourcefulness’ reign. 

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8). 

Like the teeny, tiny insignificant ant we learn to prepare. We don’t wait until a week before company comes to visit our home before we plan for their comfort. We ask ourselves questions around what needs to be done: closets de-cluttered, bathrooms cleaned, menus made and groceries bought. Not surprisingly, the blessing of hosting guests motivates us to do what we’ve discussed doing for months. The diligent look for reasons to do what’s important.  

Most importantly we are diligent to grow our faith in God. No excuses, only creative ways to facilitate more of Christ in our character. We are industrious toward intimate encounters with Jesus: we calendar solitude to quiet our soul so we can hear the Lord. An innovative mind comes alive when it's fed a steady diet of margin. Our diligence to become a loving disciple of Jesus Christ benefits our whole being. So, we seek our Savior and He meets us on His terms. In humility we receive His grace for living. Diligence finds rest from self reliance by trusting Jesus.  

“Diligently obey the Lord your God” (Zechariah 6:15). 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep me diligently focused on Your priorities and deliver me from making any excuses, especially lame ones.  

Related Readings: Proverbs 10:4, 12:24-27; Ecclesiastes 11:4; Romans 12:8; 1 Timothy 4:15

Post/Tweet today: Diligence is encouraged by what can be done, not discouraged by what can’t be done. #wisdomhunters

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