The verse I read for today is Titus 3:14.
Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.
I was curious about this one so I did a little comparison on translations and context. It’s taken from the very end of the Book of Titus, which is a letter written by Paul to a young man named Titus (surprise!). And this last bit which encompasses verses 12 through 15, makes up the conclusion of the letter where Paul is giving specific instructions to specific people. But verse 14 isn’t specific. It says “our people,” meaning believers in general.
I decided to look it up in the Message too. The Message isn’t my first choice for deep Bible study, but it’s a good paraphrase in real modern language to understand the concept that the Scripture is trying to get across.
Our people have to learn to be diligent in their work so that all necessities are met (especially among the needy) and they don’t end up with nothing to show for their lives.
And there it was. Be Diligent. Our people must be diligent.
Christians, real believers, are to be diligent. Not indolent.
We’re supposed to work so that we can be ready when trouble comes. We’re supposed to work so that we can help other people who haven’t been as fortunate as we have. We’re supposed to be up and on our feet and moving. Not sitting.
It’s easy to spend your life sitting. In a way, sitting makes life easier sometimes. I know I can convince myself that I’m waiting on God so I can’t actually do anything. But what if God is waiting on me? Maybe I need to take the initiative sometimes.
So what does that mean? Does that mean I have to sleep with my eyes open? Does that mean I can’t get any rest or ever take a break? No. That’s not diligence. That’s perfectionism, and there’s nothing that will wear you down and burn you out faster than perfectionism.
The dictionary defines diligence as constant effort to achieve something. But I say, diligence is character. Diligence is getting up when you don’t feel like it. It’s taking the hard path instead of the easy road because you know it needs to be done.
That being said, diligence is never easy either. But diligence is always productive. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you approach it with diligence, you will accomplish something, and you’ll have something to show for it, whether it be a completed novel or a clean house or projects completed at work. Maybe all you’ll accomplish is that you’ll learn something. But that’s something.
Diligence never goes unrewarded. It’s never easy, but it’s worth it. So get out of bed. And get busy. We all have tools and gifts and opportunities. Let’s do something with them.