Proverbs 21:4-5

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the agricultural product of the wicked is sin.
The plans of the diligent lead only to plenty,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

The first verse serves as a reminder to what we talked about yesterday. That what comes out of your heart will ultimately win. Even if you perform the right way externally and do all the right things, eventually your heart will start to show. I like the image of how sin, Haughty eyes and a proud heart, are the agricultural product of the wicked. In other words they are what grows out of your heart.

I would also like to point out what the products of a heart that is controlled by the Spirit are. You’re probably familiar with this, but just in case you’re not, they are “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)”

The reason I want to point that out is because of where we are heading today in this proverb. As we talk about what grows out of your heart, we also need to talk about how it affects the rest of your life. The life you live is a byproduct of the condition of your heart. If your heart is selfish, your life will be lived selfishly. As the Old King James says, “As a Man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7)

So, if you want to be truly diligent, the Spirit has to rule your heart. Does that mean you can’t be diligent without the Spirit. Of course not. There are plenty of non-believers who are diligent. Diligence is a trait that can be learned. However, for those who know Christ, they have the added helper of the Holy Spirit.

“But diligence isn’t a fruit of the spirit?” I hear you say. Okay. It may not be directly listed, but Patience, faithfulness and self-control are. And those are all aspects of diligence. To be diligent, you have to be patient. To be diligent you have to be faithful. To be diligent you have to have self-control. As you can see, diligence isn’t much of a stretch.

Why should we bother with diligence? Why does it matter so much? For starters, we live in an instant gratification society. Anything that used to require patience has pretty much been replaced by a faster, quicker version. We used to have to wait for letters to travel through the mail, then we had to wait for dial up, then we had to wait for people to respond on email, then we had to wait for people to come online with instant messenger. Now we get upset if they haven’t commented or liked our post within a few minutes. We used to have to wait for film to be developed – now we can instantly see (and share) pictures. We used to take scenic routes, now we plan our routes according to the fastest possible time. We used to have to spend time with maps and an atlas to plan those routes, now we just plug in the address and get upset if the GPS takes to long to come up with a plan.

Diligence has gone by the wayside in our have it now, have it my way society. And I don’t think that’s a good thing. Good things still come to those who wait. Good things comes to those who work are over long periods of time.

Another reason we should bother with diligence is because the basic principles of wisdom upon which our world is built have not changed. Just because society has become fast-paced, does not mean the underlying principles have gone by the wayside. Remember that God created and built this world on the foundation of wisdom. And diligence is part of living the proverbious life. We cannot go wrong when we build our lives on the same foundation God built the universe on.

So, be diligent. Seek help from the Spirit to work in you Patience, faithfulness and self-control. As you grow in your diligence you find your self heading into the land of plenty and away from the land of poverty.