“Seest thou a (woman) diligent in (her) business? (She) shall stand before kings.”
Proverbs 22: 29
King James Version
“Daughters of Deborah” Part 2
“To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
What does it mean to me to be a diligent person?
What have I learned in my life by being diligent in all I put my hand to?
“Life has not taught me to expect nothing, but has taught me not to expect success to be the inevitable result of my endeavors. Life has taught me to seek sustenance from the endeavor itself, but to leave the result to God.”
“Remember this: (she) who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and (she) who sows generously (that blessings may come to someone) will also reap generously and with blessings.”
II Corinthians 9: 6
I grew up at a time when there were no electric dishwashers. You may have already guessed where this little story is going. For my parents had a dishwasher – it just wasn’t some automatic machine. Their dishwasher’s name was Dorothy. And my sister, Sher, was the part of the machine that dried the dishes.
My parents were individuals who generously opened their home to others so I can tell you, I got a lot of practical experience washing dishes.
Every once in awhile my mom, “Mrs. White Glove Cleanliness,” herself, would come in to spot-check our work. And inevitably she’d find something that wasn’t washed very well. In our haste to go off and play, my sister and I would rush through our work and the result would be some sloppy dishwashing.
My mom had every right to get upset with us, but instead she used a different technique – guilt!
“How would you like one of our guests to get this plate that is dirty and caked with old dried food,” she’d ask? Of course, we’d dutifully tell her we’d do better and I must say, her exhortation worked for my mom raised two very diligent daughters whose work ethic was sharpened at the sink and counter in our family home.
I’m thankful I was raised in an environment where diligent behavior was not only encouraged but rewarded.
Unfortunately, the characteristic of diligence seems to be lacking in society today. It’s easy to cut corners or skip over the tough stuff.
Not long ago my husband, Jim, took our car in for repairs. When he went to pick it up, not only was the problem not fixed but the person who was to make the repairs had left greasy footprints all over the carpet on the floor of the car.
The dictionary says that diligence is persistent application and careful attention to what one does. But there’s more to the definition of diligence. Diligence also is a reflection of what we “esteem.” Those who choose to reflect and exhibit a spirit of diligence not only esteem what they do but they also esteem the value of others. If I am diligent in my activities, I am telling you that not only do I place value on my own being, but I also value you.
The Apostle Paul told the Christian believers in Corinth that diligent sowing brought forth diligent reaping. The fact is that Paul likened diligent behavior to a spirit of generosity and at first this surprised me for I never correlated diligence with generosity – that is until I began to study the life of Deborah.
When called by God to labor for Him, the Bible tells us that Deborah, along with the others she inspired, “gave themselves willingly.” Deborah had a spirit of generosity as seen by the way she “esteemed” the work God gave her. Diligently she put her all into the tasks she was called upon to perform – whether great or small.
As we review the characteristics present in the “Daughters of Deborah,” not only are her daughters devoted to God, they diligently give themselves willingly to Him, too.
“(She) who labors diligently need never despair.”
Meander of Athens
whatever the world may say,
may we only pay attention
to what You are saying to us,
and seek only Your approval,
which far outweighs any honor
or praise that the world
might bestow or withhold.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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