Five Proverbs about Diligence
from the Proverbs reading plan
Proverbs 6:6-9 | Proverbs 12:11 | Proverbs 14:23 | Proverbs 22:29 | Proverbs 24:30-34
Throughout the book of Proverbs we see the choices and consequences of the wise person compared with the choices and consequences of the “fool.” We’ll unpack the idea of the “fool” on a later day, but today we see the diligent person compared to a sluggard, or lazy person.
Diligence, according to Solomon and the other proverb-writers, means making wise choices about how we spend our time. It’s prioritizing what we need to do versus what we want to do, recognizing the value of working first and playing second. Diligence is also preparing for what may come, whether that means putting aside money for emergencies or stocking the pantry ahead of a storm. But diligence is more than just hard work. It’s also taking pride in what we do and doing it well. We see in Proverbs 22:29 that a person who is “skillful” in their work will be recognized by those above them.
The proverbs we read today don’t address the idea of rest or of balancing our work and play. For those of us who struggle with relaxing or time off, it may be jarring to hear the description of the “sluggard.” But rest and laziness are different – one is active, intentional self-care, the other is passive procrastination. Being diligent can encompass both how we work and how we rest. The key is being purposeful about both.
What is something you are skilled at? What are you doing to actively grow in your skill?
When you think about how you spend your time, is there an area that you need to make wiser choices about?
If it is hard for you to balance getting things done versus restful self-care, what is something you can do differently this week?