‘The hand of the diligent makes rich.’ Proverbs 10:4 ESV
The word diligent means ‘to cut or sharpen’. It describes a worker who’s sharp, decisive, and keen. He or she wants to work, make a difference, and contribute to their families and to society. Life ‘owes’ you nothing except an opportunity to succeed. And you’ll have to work for that success.
One day two teens were talking when one said to the other, ‘I’m really worried. Dad slaves away at his job so I’ll never want for anything. He pays all my bills and sends me to college. Mum slaves everyday washing, ironing, cleaning up after me, and even takes care of me when I’m sick.’
Puzzled, his friend asked, ‘So, what’re you worried about?’
He replied, ‘I’m worried the slaves might escape!’
If you’re a parent, teach your children the virtue of diligence. And don’t just preach it—live it! You’ll know you’re succeeding when they no longer feel ‘entitled’ to an allowance, and stop seeing you as a human cashpoint machine with the words ‘Free Money!’ stamped on your forehead. Your children will spend over half the waking hours of their prime adult lives working, and they need to know that it was God’s idea and not a form of punishment. Some people think work was the result of the curse in Eden, but it wasn’t. God gave Adam the job of tending the garden before sin came on the scene (see Genesis 2:15). Jesus was a carpenter (see Mark 6:3). And Paul, one of the most influential Christians in history, was a tentmaker (see Acts 18:1–3). There’s nothing dishonorable about work worth doing, and work done well.