I Have to Do it Again? (A Lesson in Diligence)

When little Lucas started first grade, he didn’t seem to see it as a big deal. And failed to understand why his parents and others were treating it as such. Until that is, his parents woke him the next morning too.

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

Yes, dear Lucas, you must return and keep doing so for a long time. It’s a matter of duty or responsibility and we all have them, even young kids. Which means you keep doing it, even when you don’t want to. And it takes diligence.

The good of diligence

Dictionaries define diligence as constant and steady effort to accomplish a task.

Without it we would still think like Lucas, and never learn or do much in life. So we should work diligently – and want to do it – because it’s the right thing to do and it’s good for us.

We may chuckle over Lucas’ childish simplicity. But we often share his lack of enthusiasm for facing responsibilities. Like him, we ask: Do I have to clean my house again? Have to go to work again? Cook again?

It seems we’re not hard-wired to love labor and doing right for their own sakes. We dislike having to do things, even if necessary. So how can we conquer our lazy, procrastinating ways? By remembering that diligence comes with rewards!

Scripture contains some excellent lessons on diligence. And one of my favorites is Colossians 3:18-25.

It’s often referred to as the Rules for Christian Households. Because it’s at home that we first learn to love, to serve, and to respect authority. We learn to work wholeheartedly – no matter what we’re doing.

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 CSB

It’s not always easy. It often means attending school even when we don’t want to. Showing up for work even if we don’t like our jobs. Or serving our family members no matter how disagreeable they may sometimes be.

But the beauty of diligence lies in the rewards we reap. Which is why we should strive to have more. Peter in his second epistle, instructs us to grow by adding to our faith:

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

2 Peter 1:8 CSB

Lucas kept on at school, learned to like it, and gained the rewards of learning to read, write and do math. Similarly, we also reap the benefits of diligence by having a clean house or money to pay our bills.

But are things always that straightforward? Does diligent service guarantee that we will have a positive work environment? Or does selfless love guarantee a happy home and loving family? Not always, it also depends on the others involved. But we reap rewards in many other ways.

5 rewards of working with diligence:

  1. The satisfaction of a job well done.
  2. The peace of knowing that we’re doing what is right.
  3. The joy of having our light shine more brightly at school, at work, or wherever we are.
  4. The delight seeing our characters become more Christ like.
  5. The knowledge that surely we have improved our situation just by doing what’s better.

But what really makes the difference is WHO we’re doing it for. The Lord sees and is faithful to keep all his promises. He will reward us in the best possible way – even if not in the way we expected.

And most of all, we’ll have the joy of knowing that 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

Images: School supplies by Wokandapic | Pencil by sweetlouise | Colored pencils by Miguel Á. Padriñán.

20 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!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I didn’t realize it had been that long either! But I’ve always loved your writing and encouraging spirit!! God bless!


    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?


    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!!


    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!!

      Liked by 1 person

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