Diligence is a rare trait in our culture. Our society has an extreme case of laziness; we start projects and lack the focus to finish. While laziness is a prime problem in our society, a lack of hard workers is an age-old problem. The book of Proverbs, which was penned thousands of years ago, talks extensively about the different traits of a lazy person versus a diligent person. If you desire to grow in diligence, the book of Proverbs offers timeless wisdom on how to do so. Without further ado, here are five must-have traits of a diligent person.
1) A diligent person is an excellent planner.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
Achieving a goal requires a detailed plan with a deadline. A friend of mine, who is a doctoral student, has wisely exclaimed many times, “Plan your work and work your plan!” Diligent people give themselves directions and then follow through on their plans. In contrast, people who dive into a project without preparing will quickly find themselves in hot water. A diligent person will both plan well and pace themselves, thus finishing projects without getting burned out.
2) A diligent person produces excellent work.
“Do you see the man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” Proverbs 22:29
Excellent work attracts the attention of excellent people. A diligent person not only works hard, but does his or her best work every time. When you are a diligent, excellent worker, you will be offered opportunities that you never could have orchestrated on your own. For example, Dr. Benjamin Carson, a world-renowned brain surgeon, was invited to speak at the national prayer breakfast twice, which is a rare privilege. He stood before many important men, including the president, even though he is not a politician. His excellence in neurosurgery provided him a golden opportunity in a completely different field. Excellent work is truly the best promoter.
3) A diligent person is faithful in everyday tasks.
“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Proverbs 28:19
The diligent person in this verse is faithfully tending to their daily responsibilities. In other words, a diligent person will take their everyday work seriously. Instead of wasting time on things that bring no reward, a diligent person will focus their energy on productive activities, even if that work is not particularly exciting. Thankfully, even boring work will reap a harvest if we remain faithful.
4) A diligent person pushes through obstacles of all kinds.
“The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags” Proverbs 30:25-26
The ants are weak, yet they still fulfill their responsibilities. The badgers are feeble, but they build their home in the crags! Often times, we are ill-equipped to complete a job. We could be inadequate, or the circumstances could be daunting. However, diligence and determination can make even the weakest person (or animal!) capable.
5) A diligent person is self-motivated.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8
A diligent person stays on top of their work without their boss constantly cracking the whip! They refuse to procrastinate, instead choosing to fulfill their duties in a timely manner. Just like the ants that Proverbs talks about, we should keep on top of our work without a boss or leader having to constantly oversee us.
Diligence is not cultivated overnight.
Diligence is a muscle that is strengthened with time and consistency. While a diligent person is a hard worker, they also know how to be a smart worker by being a good planner. A diligent person acquires opportunities through the excellence of their work. They also stay faithful in the everyday tasks, and they are not easily deterred by obstacles. Finally, a diligent person is self-driven and knows how to be their own boss. Due to its rarity in our culture, diligence is rapidly increasing in value. Diligence is a dynamic character trait which is a precious treasure worthy of our cultivating.
Audrey French is a seventeen year old homeschooler from the state of Arizona. She spends a majority of her time writing, reading, dancing, and teaching public speaking classes. Nothing makes her happier than a night of playing games and telling jokes with good friends. She is passionate about her faith in Jesus and helping nonprofit organizations such as Compassion International and Feed My Starving Children. You can find her blogging at Livingblessedwithless.wordpress.com