When it was time for a son of some of our good friends to start kindergarten, I’m afraid he didn’t really understand what all the excitement was about, and to me he seemed somewhat indifferent over the big event. Until that is, his parents awoke him on the second morning too…
“You mean I have to go again?” he asked in confusion. Apparently he thought school was a one-time event or that he’d learned everything in only one day. No wonder “starting school” hadn’t seemed like a big deal!
But yes, dear one, you have to go again and keep on going every day for many years. Even when you don’t want to. It’s called duty or responsibility, and we all have them, even little kids.
Which is why we need to diligently improve our faith.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge… temperance… patience… godliness… brotherly kindness and… charity.2 Peter 1:5-7 KJV
Dictionaries define diligence as constant and steady effort to accomplish what we undertake.
Without it, we would think like little Luke, and never learn or accomplish much. So we really should work with diligence – and want to do it – just because it’s the right thing and good for us, shouldn’t we?
Yet, though we may chuckle over Luke’s childish simplicity, we often share his lack of enthusiasm over facing responsibilities. Like him we ask: I have to clean house – again? I have to go to work – again? Cook – again?
It seems we’re not really hard-wired to love labor and doing right for their own sakes. We dislike having to do things, however necessary. So here Paul reminds us that not only are we supposed to work heartily, but that we will reap rewards for doing so.
Colossians 3:18-25 is often titled Rules for Christian Households.
And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.Colossians 3:23-24 WEB
Because it’s at home where we first learn the importance of respecting authority, of loving, of serving. And of working with all our hearts – no matter what we’re doing.
And it’s not always easy. It often means going to school even when we don’t want to. Going to jobs we may not like. Or serving our families no matter how disagreeable they may sometimes be.
But the beauty of diligence lies in the rewards we reap.
Little Luke kept on going to school, learned to like it, and is reaping the reward of learning to read. We likewise, through diligence reap a clean house or money to pay our bills.
But are things always that simple and clear-cut? Just because we serve and love diligently, will we automatically have a good working environment? Or a happy home and good family? Not necessarily, because that also depends on the other people involved. But we do reap rewards in many other ways.
5 rewards of working with diligence.
- The satisfaction of a job well done.
- The peace of knowing that we’re doing right.
- Our light will shine more brightly at school, at work, or wherever we are.
- It helps to transform our character into the image of Christ.
- Our situation is bound to be better than if we didn’t do our part or didn’t do right.
But what really makes the difference is WHO we’re doing it for. The Lord sees, is faithful to keep all his promises, and will reward us in the best possible way – even if it’s much different than we expected.