DILIGENCE AND PREPARATION
Date: May 30
Category: Hard Work and Diligence
"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise! Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest. How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to lie down and sleep– so will your poverty come like a robber or one who travels [with slowly but surely approaching steps] and your want like an armed man [making you helpless]."
These verses teach us about the effects of diligence and laziness. The Bible says that if we want to gain wisdom, we should look at the ant. It says, "Consider her ways and be wise!" [verse 6b]. Even without a chief, an overseer, or a ruler, ants still get ready for the winter by gathering and storing up food. They still do what they need to do to survive.
You may be young and say, "Who cares about storing up for the future? Who cares about retirement?" Actually, the time to start preparing for retirement is when you're young. This is the time to lay some money aside for your future. So the Bible tells us to learn from the ant and be diligent.
The same principle applies when you're studying for an exam. You don't prepare for an exam the night before. God cannot help you pass the exam if you haven't put forth the effort to really study for it. As soon as you hear that you have an assignment or an exam, start working on it or start studying for it that day. The key to success is doing what you need to do ahead of time.
Let's say, for example, you are having problems in your marriage. Don't wait for your marriage to break up to say, "Lord, save my marriage!" You have to start working on strengthening your marriage ahead of time. You have to do what it takes for that relationship to be strong BEFORE the problems arise.
Pay attention to what happens if you aren't diligent. It says in verse 11, "So will your poverty come like a robber or one who travels [with slowly but surely approaching steps] and your want like an armed man [making you helpless]." You will want things, but you won't be able to get them because you'll be too helpless, the Bible says. People often become poor because they're lazy. Of course this isn't the case for all people, but some people are poor because of laziness. When you are lazy and not diligent, the likelihood of you becoming poor is very high. The likelihood of you not being able to fulfill your needs and wants will be high. You'll see others succeed, but not yourself. The success that you receive is directly related to how diligent and how wise you are.
Success comes from three important aspects: purpose, preparation, and diligence. Put those things into action, and you'll see how God is going to bless and prosper you. But if you and I are lazy, it says in these verses that we will become poor and helpless. If that's not what you want then you should work, be diligent, and you will be successful.