Are you constantly looking forward to the next thing? Do you find it difficult to focus when there’s so much excitement on the horizon? If you’re reading this, my hunch is that you’re eager to build wealth and run with the vision God has given you.
In our enthusiasm for the future, we can sometimes miss the opportunities God has placed in our present moment. Dreaming is much easier than diligence. Thankfully, the Bible is full of encouragement about how to stay focused on our current mission. I love this verse from Proverbs:
“Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.” (Proverbs 12:27, NLT)
Think about that for a minute. The “lazy people” still made an effort to go hunting. They even caught some meat! However, they stopped the process before they could even enjoy the fruits of their labor.
How many times do we quit before we get the prize? We become distracted, lazy, and impatient to move on to the next opportunity. Instead, the Bible encourages us to make use of everything we find. There are resources right under your nose that have the potential to grow. I believe that diligence is the key to fulfilling the dreams God has placed on your heart. But first, what does diligence really mean?
What Diligent Means:
The Hebrew word for diligence is chărûwts. It is associated with being sharp, determined, and eager. The same word is also used to describe mining for gold, digging a trench, and using a threshing instrument.
So, diligent people take action to maximize the resources in their environment. The gold is already there; you just have to mine for it. There is plenty of water, but you must dig a trench for it to flow. God has already provided the treasure; you just need a shovel!
The threshing instrument is a vibrant metaphor. A thresher’s purpose is to separate grain and straw to collect the most valuable part of the crop. Without threshing, grain isn’t edible. After threshing, grain can be transformed into many tasty things like bread, pasta, and oatmeal. Back in the day, when most people worked on farms, the leftover straw was used to feed animals and pad bedding. Nothing was wasted.
Here’s the point: if you’re diligent, you have everything you need to build wealth. However, you might need to rearrange your raw materials to collect the most valuable part of the crop.
For example, you have time– are you using it to gain relevant knowledge? You have some money– are you investing it in the most efficient way, or are you purchasing too many liabilities? You have talent– are you applying yourself to serve God’s will for your life?
A diligent person engages with God in the creative process to draw out the potential in the raw materials they have access to. They look from God’s vantage point and see every day as an opportunity. They are expectant because they know God can use everyday offerings for something miraculous. Jesus promised that diligent people will be trusted with more: “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29, NLT)
When it comes to financial diligence, many people think of due diligence. Doing your due diligence involves taking the necessary steps to satisfy legal requirements. In addition, diligence is a core financial concept on a deeper level.
In essence, investing is all about being diligent with your money. You worked hard for your paycheck, so why would you not turn around and put your money to work for you?
When you invest, you are maximizing your money. With minimal effort, one thousand dollars can turn into $1,100 yearly at a modest ten percent interest rate. The MBA textbook Managerial Economics states:
“Wealth is created when assets are moved from lower to higher-valued uses. The art of business consists of identifying assets in low-valued uses and devising ways to profitably move them to higher-valued ones.”
I refer to this concept as the Law of Conversion. Conversion involves taking a lower-valued asset and turning it into a higher-valued asset. Manufacturing plants are an example of this. They take raw materials like wood and recycled paper and turn them into goods like furniture and journals. Suddenly they have a much higher price tag.
Real estate investors practice diligence and conversion by adding value to the properties they purchase. Through the BRRRR method, investors buy, rehab, rent, and refinance houses. Because of their renovations, the home’s ARV (as repaired value) is worth substantially more than they paid. They can use the profits to repeat the process with another property. This way, the same pot of money can be used to purchase multiple homes. Talk about making use of everything you have!
A Prayer for Diligence
The value of diligence will take you far in your career, finances, and spiritual journey. We can try to make the most of what we have, but ultimately it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to give us a new perspective on our resources and a new strength for utilizing them. Here is a guided prayer for diligence that you can follow to help you reflect:
God, thank you for everything you have given me. Everything I have is a gift from you, so I pray that you will empower me to steward my life well. Please give me your perspective on my current season. What resources do I have at my disposal, and how can I use them to the best of my abilities? Holy Spirit, please come and reveal strategies for how I can be more diligent. [Pause]
Show me how to be faithful. You are good and faithful, and I want to be a good and faithful servant with everything you have entrusted to me.