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Missing Quality: Diligence


Diligence seems to be a missing quality today. Perhaps busyness, lack or work ethic, or simply laziness are to blame. Diligence, however, is not optional but rather commanded in God’s Word.

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.  Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.  (1 Tim. 4:15-16)

Diligent in what?

Paul had just written to Timothy about personal integrity, devotion to the Word, and using his spiritual gifts (1 Tim. 4:12-14).

  • Carefully attend to your heart.  Character matters.
  • Take great pains to keep the Word central.  Truth matters.
  • Faithfully use what you have been given to serve.   Stewardship matters.

How diligent?

Look at the surrounding words:  give yourself wholly to them, watch closely, persevere in them

That is total absorption, not just doing enough to get by or to look good.

Why be diligent?

Personal Benefit:

Progress – You grow or advance.

Protection – You save yourself from many dangers.

Benefit to Others:

Pattern – They have an example when they look at your life.

Protection – They learn from you and avoid the hazards as well.

(Note: When verse 16 says “you will save both yourself and your hearers” it cannot refer to atonement for sin as Scripture clearly proclaims that only Jesus can save in that way. Rather, carefully attending to these things serves as a deterrent, preventative, and protection from so much that can beset us, hold us back, or bring ruin to our lives and testimonies.)

Diligence then, is not only a matter of obedience but it is also profitable.  Let’s ask God to help us to be more diligent as we serve in the church and community, parent our children, and live to the glory of God in the workplace because character, truth, and stewardship matter in all of these settings, in whatever we do.

More for Church Leaders about Diligence


2 Replies to “Missing Quality: Diligence”

    • Thanks for your question, Terry. I suppose this could sound like a 90-10 approach (or whatever percentages you want to assign) but it really isn’t. First, let’s remember that God is the One who is telling us to be diligent. God will never contradict Himself. So, let’s reconcile Scripture with Scripture. Following are two passages that should bring some clarity:

      But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Cor. 15:10)

      Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Phil. 2:12-13)

      Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Now, if we don’t yield to Him, rarely pray, fail to regularly look to Him as the source of our strength, then it will not be 100% God. But if, as a branch draws its sustenance from the vine, we rely on Him, though we are doing branch-like work, He is really the One making it possible for us to do what we do. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).

      Let me suggest that you take a look at this article: Is Maximizing Your Ministry a Biblical or Worldly Concept?

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