Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” The opposites of laziness and poverty are diligence and wealth. Would you rather be stuck in poverty or well provided for? That’s a rhetorical question; I know how you will answer.
When you meet a diligent person, you are going to meet a patient person. The two character traits go together. They help define each other. A diligent person must work long and hard. He must not give up when he is tired or discouraged. He does not demand to be entertained while he is working. He toils patiently. Likewise, a patient person must be willing to wait for results. Patience is not a passive thing. It is active because it involves doing something—putting your hope and trust in a certain outcome.
A patient and diligent person is a good manager. He or she is willing to keep driving the same old, beat-up car for several more years while working diligently (managing resources) to save up enough to get a new one. A patient, diligent person does not jump the gun. Why take out a loan to buy a new car when you can still drive the old one to work every day? Why pay interest on the price of the car when you do not have to? That diminishes the “added value” of your assets. It feeds your sense of entitlement and pride.
You may need to ask for help to conquer your lazy habits. You may not realize how ingrained they are, and you may need a boost from another person before you can exert the extra energy required to become a diligent manager.
Even if you seem to be a born manager, you will need to exercise your gifts and wisdom. You cannot put your life on cruise control. Keep God in the driver’s seat. Let Him help you use your gifts. You will need to define your goals and your strategies, too.
The Book of Proverbs is packed full of advice about diligence. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Sluggards are lazy fellows. They are always wanting to hit the jackpot, but it never seems to occur. They look outside at the sunshine and say, “Today is going to be my lucky day.” They always say that they have a “plan,” but they are always broke. On the opposite side, the diligent person does not give a single thought to hitting the jackpot. He does not rely on mere luck. He gets out of bed in the morning, and, without wasting time, he gets straight to work, trusting in God’s strength to keep him on a straight path. His plan is a sound one because he remembers that he is a steward of God’s resources.
He is the one who will succeed in the end. He will be able to overcome every setback and get back on both feet, stronger than before. It is true—“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Prov. 21:
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