1 Thessalonians 4:11

 

 
 
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Lord, keep me from wasting my life

 

Becoming diligent is hard work, but diligence is not synonymous with working hard. I know from personal experience that one can get up early and go to bed late, and expend a lot of energy, and be very busy, and not watch TV or get lost in social media binges — can appear to work hard — and still not get much done that really matters.

Diligence combines a willingness to work hard with a discerning focus, a sense of urgency, a vigilant carefulness, and faithful perseverance. And one of the clearest biblical calls to diligence is Paul’s exhortation:

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15–17)

A diligent person “[makes] the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). He realizes that time is limited.

Again, the context tells us Paul likely has holiness in mind: We should not waste our time on sin. The best use of time is to be filled with the Spirit and bearing the Spirit’s fruit (Galatians 5:22–23) and not with dissipating sins like drunkenness or sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3, 18).

But, again, Paul would say the same thing about “civilian pursuits.” There’s not enough time to do everything we’d enjoy doing. Even as soldiers, there’s not enough time to do all the very good, spiritually helpful things we’d like to do. But there’s sufficient time for us to do what God gives us to do (2 Corinthians 9:8).

A diligent person feels urgency over the brief time he has on earth and seeks to wisely use his brief number of days on the few things he discerns to be the most important for him (Psalm 90:12).

- Jon Bloom


PRAY AND BE ALONE WITH GOD

Paul Washer


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