if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Whether evangelizing, teaching people, taking care of others, or loving someone, do so diligently. True love does not contain falsehood; those who love falsely are bad people who don’t take action. And those who don’t take action lack diligence. Diligently reject what is evil, turn away from it, and be on the side of good. Be devoted to loving each other and honor one another above yourselves. Fervently serve the Lord with joy and hope, and endure through tribulations without complaint. Sometimes tribulations lead to a good outcome, so pray diligently and sincerely; then you’ll come to know.
Make it a habit to live diligently every day
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Whether it’s food, clothing, or a place to sit, you should always practice hospitality. Lot was hospitable in welcoming and serving the angels God had sent to Sodom, so he was spared from death as God carried out His judgement on the land. However, if Lot had failed to be hospitable, his destiny could have been different. Because he served the angels well, his fortune changed greatly that day as the angels informed him about the judgement that was to come.
Even though Lot didn’t realize who the angels were, he had a habit of bringing those in need into his home, and he was able to serve them well because this was how he had always served his guests. He was diligent in practicing hospitality. Likewise, be diligent in your everyday faith; then you will gain.
The consequences of laziness
Proverbs 19:15 says, “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.” A lazy person will go hungry and will have to tighten his belt. And those who do not keep the commandments, those who do not guard their spirits, and those who do not guard their actions are all people who are lazy. Furthermore, Proverbs 12:27 says, “The lazy do not roast any game.” These proverbs point out that a person’s destiny is determined by their diligence. A person who tries to catch something can be successful, but people don’t even bother to hunt because they think they can’t catch anything.
People give many different excuses for their failures. But in fact, many people fail because of laziness. Don’t just look at other people; look at yourself. Reflect upon your past: when you failed to do what you should have done because you were lazy, you likely didn’t gain the things you should have gained as a result.
When people lack diligence, they fail to gain what they should gain, things don’t work out, and they even lose money. This continues on like weeds growing in the fields of their hearts and lives, but they give up on pulling them out. However, if the weeds continue to spread throughout the entire field, too much effort will ultimately be required to pull them all out.
Diligently do your own responsibilities. Laziness is like a disease as scary as cancer. And just as cancer spreads throughout your body, laziness will spread too. How do you cure the disease of laziness? It is cured only by taking action diligently. Just as you take care of your body’s health so that you don’t get sick, diligently take care of the health of your faith as well. If you’re consistently diligent, then the disease of laziness will disappear.
The benefits of diligence
Even if two people are in the same position, it’s the one who’s diligent who gains the things they should gain. The one who is diligent is the first to see it, realize, take action, and gain as a result.
Taking action diligently, in itself, is power and authority. When you play soccer, volleyball, basketball, ping pong, or any other competition, it’s the people who run around diligently who score that one extra goal. They spike the ball one more time. They score one more point. Do things while diligently focusing your mind.
The difference between somebody who is diligent and somebody who is not diligent is like the difference between Heaven and Earth. The difference is in how things work out and what they gain as a result. People who have gained things by taking action quickly have said, “It could have been big trouble if I didn’t do things at that time.”
You become diligent when you are united with God and the Lord
Those who don’t do the work they should do are lazy people. Even those who do the work but do it slowly, or don’t do it at the right time, are also lazy. The Trinity and the Lord do not give to those who are lazy—even things that should be given to them. Why? Because a lazy person won’t value nor use properly what they have been given; so it’s a waste.
But people who work together with God, the Holy Spirit, and the Lord do things swiftly and quickly. It’s impossible to be lazy when you do things together with the Holy Spirit and the Lord. When a raindrop is riding on a typhoon, it cannot help but fly fast. And when clouds get caught up in the typhoon, they cannot help but be fast too. In the same way, if you ride the wind of the Holy Spirit, you cannot help but be fast.
You have to be diligent; then you will serve God joyfully, and you can spend each day meaningfully and valuably. God, the Holy Spirit, and the Lord are diligent, so you, too, must be diligent; only then can you walk with the Lord. God and the Holy Spirit are always with those who are diligent and take action together with them. They give grace to those who act diligently every day so that the work to be done will come to mind. God gives the same Word to those who are diligent and to those who are lazy. Realize that God is always watching and take action on the Word diligently!