When it was time for a son of some good friends to start kindergarten, I’m afraid he didn’t really understand what all the excitement was about, and to me he seemed somewhat indifferent over the big event. Until that is, his parents awoke him on the second morning too…

“You mean I have to go again?” he asked in confusion. Apparently he thought school was a one-time event or that he’d learned everything in only one day. No wonder “starting school” hadn’t seemed like a big deal!

But yes, dear one, you have to go again and keep on going every day for many years. Even when you don’t want to. It’s called duty or responsibility, and we all have them, even little kids.

Which is why we need to diligently improve our faith.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge…temperance…patience…godliness…brotherly kindness and…charity.

2 Peter 1:5-7 KJV

Dictionaries define diligence as constant and steady effort to accomplish what we undertake. Without it, we would think like little Luke, and never learn or accomplish much.

So we really should work with diligence – and want to do it – just because it’s the right thing and good for us, shouldn’t we?

Yet, though we may chuckle over Luke’s childish simplicity, we often share his lack of enthusiasm over facing responsibilities. Like him we ask: I have to clean house – again? I have to go to work – again? Cook – again?

It seems we’re not really hard-wired to love labor and doing right for their own sakes. We dislike having to do things, however necessary. So here Paul reminds us that not only are we supposed to work heartily, but that we will reap rewards for doing so.

And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 WEB

Colossians 3:18-25 is titled Rules for Christian Households.

Because it’s at home where we first learn the importance of respecting authority, of loving, and of serving. And of working with all our hearts – no matter what we’re doing.

And it’s not always easy. It often means going to school even when we don’t want to. Going to jobs we may not like. Or serving our families no matter how disagreeable they may sometimes be.

But the beauty of diligence lies in the rewards we reap.

Little Luke kept on going to school, learned to like it, and is reaping the reward of learning to read. We likewise, through diligence reap a clean house or money to pay our bills.

But are things always that simple and clear-cut? Just because we serve and love diligently, will we automatically have a good working environment? Or a happy home and good family? Not necessarily, because that also depends on the other people involved. But we do reap rewards in many other ways.

5 hidden rewards of working with diligence.

  1. The satisfaction of a job well done.
  2. The peace of knowing that we’re doing right.
  3. Being able to shine our light more brightly at school, at work, or wherever we are.
  4. A situation that will likely be more pleasant than if we didn’t do our part or didn’t do right.
  5. And character that is being molded and transformed into the image of Christ, even if we can’t see it.

But what really makes the difference is WHO we’re doing it for.

The Lord sees, is faithful to keep all his promises, and will reward us in the best possible way – even if it’s much different than we expected. And most of all, we have have the joy of knowing we have pleased him!

We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work but the love with which it is performed.

Brother Lawrence

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Images | 1ST: school supplies by Wokandapix. | 2ND: pencil by sweetlouise. 3RD: autumn foilage by Free-Photos. | All 3 on Pixabay.

12 thoughts on “I Have to Do It Again? (A Lesson in Diligence)

    1. Thanks for sharing that link, Nancy. I do remember reading that post and enjoyed rereading just now. It’s who we’re working for that makes all the difference, for sure!! But I especially like where you say, “These pots will be part of something glorious and enduring. And that changes everything!” Part of something glorious and enduring… that’s what counts!! Thank you!

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      1. I did not remember that you had been a follower of my blog for that long! You are a gracious friend to reread that post again. Thank you, Sheila! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Dayle! Yes, the lessons we can learn from children are often very powerful. They approach life so totally naturally. And yes, we do often have that attitude of Again? Really? Knowing that we are doing it all for the Lord is what really makes the difference, isn’t it?

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  1. I needed this message today. I am frustrated with a writing project. But, remembering that I am writing for God puts everything in perspective. Thank you. 🙂

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    1. Oh Mimi, I’m so glad it helped. It is easy to get discouraged over our projects. I’m working on translating posts from this blog into Italian – and it is a lot of work – especially since it is not my native language. Sometimes I wonder, is it worth it? But then, like you, I remember WHO I’m doing it for… and the strength comes to continue. Thank you for sharing – it’s so good to know we are not alone in our struggles!!

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  2. Excellent word Sheila! Sometimes I have to dig down deep to keep going, but in the end it is worth it. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thanks so much Lisanne! I found our little friend’s innocence over school so amusing – until I realized how often I think and act in the same way… And I’m glad you like my blog’s new look. I’m pretty excited about it!!

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