Proverbs 12:27

Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
but the diligent man will get precious wealth.

When I was principal of a high school, each year the valedictorian had the same characteristic. Most years, he or she was not the smartest student. But every year he or she was the most diligent student. Diligent people know the truth of this proverb; slothful people don’t get it. They blame circumstances for their failures. Indeed, the one thing for which they are diligent is to think of ways in which they could not be expected to succeed.

The diligent man is not merely a hard worker, but a smart worker. One of my English students would present her initial paper drafts to me to discuss with her. The result was that I would correct her errors and point her in the right direction so that she invariably ended up with A papers. She was diligent in pursuing wise and clever means of achieving her goals.

And yet, how ironic that one can be diligent in matters of temporary significance, and yet be slothful about eternal matters. This phenomenon frustrated Pascal and is behind his “wager” argument that one should side with Christianity for self-protection. He was amazed that a man could diligently and passionately pursue billiards and show no interest in his eternal condition. So it is with a world filled with people pursuing their goals diligently, yet all along aiming for the wrong goals.

Be diligent in your salvation and sanctification that you may obtain the precious wealth of Jesus Christ. Be diligent to study and grasp the grace of the Gospel.

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