Throughout Scripture, diligence is both commanded and commended. Indeed, from Genesis to Revelation we learn the importance of diligence. For instance, in Exodus 15 Moses charged God’s people to diligently listen to and obey the voice of the Lord. In our earthly affairs, Proverbs 10:4 warns, “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
In the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, diligence as a virtue gained renewed focus. The Reformers understood that all work is sacred work and that believers are to honor God through their vocational efforts. Diligence is essential, in other words, to God-honoring labors.
Diligence is a biblical virtue, but one need not be a Bible-believing Christian to value it. By common grace, diligence is rewarded in almost every culture. Diligence is a sign of personal, familial, and societal health.
Benjamin Franklin famously observed that “diligence is the mother of good luck.” Further back, Plato reflected, “Prefer diligence before idleness, unless you esteem rust above brightness.” Indeed, in almost any area of life, you can’t reach your full potential without diligence.
Yet our primary concern in this article is diligence in the Christian life. As we’ll see, diligence isn’t just beneficial for it; it’s essential.
First, diligence is essential to your Christian growth. The spiritual disciplines of the Christian life all require diligence. Prayer, Scripture reading, evangelism, giving, and even worship all require diligence. Where you find a spiritually inactive Christian, you’ll find a stagnant one.