Diligence

Diligence

“He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth.” (Pro 10:4)

We are often quick to blame God for all our problems. Other people and circumstances are reasonable targets as well. It is always easier to look elsewhere when blame is to be apportioned.

This is not about a guilt trip, and I certainly wouldn’t want to place any condemnation on you, but when we do not apply ourselves to the tasks assigned to us, there are consequences that are real and physical, including missing a promotion or being disciplined at work.

If we are the leader, we need to take responsibility for the team’s outcomes and performance. Culture comes from the top and we set the tone for the team.

The Bible says lazy hands lead to poverty, yet the hope is that He is always ready to help you with a turnaround. The outcome He wants is for you to be blessed, and diligent hands bring wealth.

Quick Prayer: I’m sorry for when I slack off. Help me to work well and wisely. Amen.

Ants

Ants

“Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise.” (Pro 6:6)

I don’t like ants; they can be quite a nuisance; but they have enormous energy and strength. They never seem to rest. They are always productive and busy. There is a lesson of a need for application and hard work.

There is fruit from good, honest labor, focus, and application. If we wait for it to happen by itself, it probably won’t. We have a responsibility to be productive with the gifts and resources given to us. In a very real way, we are, and will be, held accountable.

There is opportunity in leadership to ease up and get others to do all the hard work. Whilst delegation is an essential skill and empowerment releases potential, it does not obfuscate the need for our own application.

Take a moment to reflect on your workload. Are you focused and applying your resources with wisdom?

Quick Prayer: Give me the focus and energy to be productive, Lord. Amen.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

“Then I saw and considered well. I saw, and received instruction: a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; so, your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man. (Pro 24:32-34)

I’m not a big fan of poverty. I certainly don’t see it as some kind of sanctified state. We endeavour to address it in other lands and where it exists in our own countries. But sometimes lack hits a lot closer to home.

Riches, wealth or even just sustainable provision can be an illusion of certainty. I have seen it often in business, where good companies failed to address issues based on a false illusion of their own right to exist. They became lazy.

Poverty and want here in this proverb come as a robber or an armed man. Intruders and vagabonds operate suddenly. We don’t see an armed man crawling slowly toward us over a week or two. Robbery is a sudden event.

So what can cause this ‘sudden downfall’ in our lives, our teams and our organisations? A little sleep, a little slumber, maybe a little rest. We can easily be lulled into a false sense of security and then suddenly…

We need to be mindful that we have an enemy and that he too has a plan. To overcome this strategy, we need to do the opposite. Stay alert, don’t become complacent, remain diligent and apply ourselves in excellence at work, for the glory of God.

Quick Prayer: Keep me diligent, awake and aware of the plans of the enemy. Amen.

Obscurity

Obscurity

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve kings. He won’t serve obscure men.” (Pro 22:29)

We are all given a fixed amount of gifts and talents. They are allocated for a purpose; in that we all have a role to play and a part to fulfill. They do come, however, with some responsibility.

Raw talent can only get us so far as leaders. The one with some talent will go way past the one with much unless the one with more learns diligence and applies him or herself. We are called to take what God has given us and to hone and develop it with the gifts He has bestowed on us.

Training and learning are not self-interest pastimes; they are the building blocks of servanthood. If we are well equipped and prepared, we can serve effectively and be productive. Then we will be taken to new heights and given even greater opportunity to serve.

Quick Prayer: I commit to developing the skills You have given me so I may serve You well. Amen.

Talker

Talker

“In all hard work there is profit, but the talk of the lips leads only to poverty.” (Pro 14:23)

I have plenty of things I am going to get around to. If I talk about them for years, they still won’t get done. It is only when we stop talking and start doing that, we make progress.

Our words have to translate into action to be effective. If you want to talk about the latest idea, project, business model, or whatever, put timeframes into the discussion. This can help you crystalize a plan and start to progress to action.

A plan has milestones and clear demonstrable outcomes. Don’t just talk, write it down, tell someone and become accountable to clear objectives and firm deadlines.

It is a lot easier to talk than to work. It is the easier option. It is hard work that brings a profitable result. Talk without action leads only to more talk and no outcome.

Quick Prayer: I will do what I say and prevaricate less. Amen.