“The desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 13:4 NIV.

Life does not regard your wants; life rewards your work.

There is a very important lesson you must and will learn. Life does not regard your wants. Life rewards your work. And God honors those whose efforts reflect His nature and Name. Some learn that reality early and prosper; to their loss, others learn it late. Obtaining your wants apart from your work is unlikely apart from spiraling debt, demoralizing dependence on others’ charity, or resorting to dishonorable and dishonest behavior.

Paul’s personal example and clear instruction was, “. . this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.” 2 Corinthians 3:6-12 NIV. My father was a kind and generous man, but he strongly believed that principle and taught me early that reward came from responsibility.

As a child, I had family responsibilities in our home suited to my age and ability, then worked through High School and College for the extra things I wanted but the family could not afford. I am grateful I was taught the connection between contribution and compensation. The comparative affluence of more recent generations allows parents to lavish children with their wants but, in the process, impoverish their understanding of the practices contributing to future success.

The Bible warns, “The sluggard craves and gets nothing. .” Proverbs 13:4 NIV. There is a reason. No harvest can be expected where no seed was sown in preparation. Proverbs 20:4 NIV. The Bible corrects those who will not provide for themselves, not persons who cannot. This is a Biblical standard useful for self-evaluation of your effort and diligence, not for judging others.

The Bible also promises, “. . the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 13:4 NIV. Diligence is defined as, “the constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.” How would you personally define diligence? For my spiritual and everyday life, I think diligence is best expressed by attention to duty and detail. Diligence requires a “second mile mentality,” doing the extra any situation requires from a success attitude of “whatever it takes.” Jesus taught, “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41 NKJV. Rather than the mandatory minimum, do the unanticipated; contribute more than required.

Success with satisfaction relates to one’s maximum effort and contribution, not marginal or normal. See Proverbs 12:24/22:29 NKJV. For God and man, as well as yourself, do more not less; give your best not least; be excellent not ordinary; be an example not exception. Your part is to give your best effort and abilities every time; anything less is unworthy. God’s part is to prosper the work of your hands. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart . . Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Psalm 37:4 NIV/Colossians 3:23-24 NIV. See 2 Peter 3:14 NKJV.

My prayer for you this day is: whatever you do, do joyfully and wholeheartedly as unto the Lord!