Like many kids, my first job was a paper route. I enjoyed the job, but I hated the dogs. One dog on my route had a history of violence, to the point that if it had anymore issues it would have to be put down. Dogs are diligent when it comes to guarding their home.
I figured I could get the dog to actually look forward to me coming, instead of being on edge with me. I said to him one day, “get your ball” and sure enough the dog came back with a ball. I would throw the ball, run to the house, and drop the paper off while the dog was chasing the ball.
I had succeeded in breaking down his barriers and had taken away some of his diligence by distraction. In the process I had succeeded in doing the very thing he was so diligent about when I first came.
We are supposed to be diligent when it comes to sin. We try to be diligent and maybe do well for a time, and the we fail. Those same old distractions break down diligence.
For an example of what this looks like we go back to Abram and Lot. Lot was living in with whateverence, or the idea that whatever happens is fine. He had no plan.
We must be diligence and avoid whateverence when it comes to sin.
When Lot separated from Abram, we are told that he moved close to Sodom. Sodom was a very evil city and did not obey God. Choices have consequences. We do well do obey God’s ways found in the Bible. We avoid a lot of hardship by doing things God’s ways. We don’t always like to obey, though do we. We want to do things our own way.
Following God’s way is not the easiest. It is not the most popular. Lot did things his own way and it proved to be costly Abram did things God’s way, which meant leaving his land and going without known the details and God blessed him.
Stay away from Temptation
In Genesis 13 Lot is near Sodom and in Genesis 14 Lot is living in Sodom.
Whatever amount of thought Lot had once put into God was now being washed over by his proximity to evil.
To be sure, temptation is not in itself a sin, but if temptation is given in to that leads to sin. Lot would not have moved into town hoping to get corrupted. But, it would have been almost impossible for him to get anywhere because everyone was against him.
Take drugs and alcohol as an example. The schools are full of people who see no problem with doing some drugs or going out and drinking, even though it is illegal and dangerous. How easy would it be to go to a place where all are doing one thing and you aren’t? It is like chasing that ball, getting distracted from the task diligence.
“Guard your heart with all diligence…” Proverbs 4:23 NKJV
It is a matter of diligence because these things affect the heart. You need to stand for something!
Lot didn’t have much of a plan and he got in trouble for it. You need to understand that temptation is a part of life and sin always looks appealing, but it leads to death.
There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death.- Proverbs 14:12
Diligence not whateverence
Rely on the Savior
No matter how diligent you are there is a need for a Savior. You cannot do it on your own. Sometimes I hear from people who get frustrated because they just can’t seem to shake their sin problem or their feelings of failure. Stop doing that! It doesn’t matter who you are, but what does matter is the work of the Savior.
Notice in Lot’s case, God sent Abram to rescue him from his trouble. Lot had chosen his path and needed to take responsibility for that. However, Abram loved his nephew Lot and went in and rescued him from the sin.
Sound familiar? God loved us so much that He gave his one and only son to die in our place.
God allowed His perfect Son to die for our sin. You, when you trust Jesus Christ, move from a path of death to a path of life. You can be with Jesus forever and avoid the penalty of sin. It has been paid for!
The sin nature has a big mouth, but with some diligence in knowing and obeying God’s Word, paying attention to temptation, and relying on the Savior, we can avoid a lot of problems that happen to people who live in “whateverence.”
There is a felt burden to this because we want to do the right things. It is much harder than we can accomplish in our own strength. Jesus offers us a new way, a way where he leads and we follow. A way where he gives you rest from your striving.
Diligence is not about being busy, it is about trust in Christ. Guard your heart from sin by moving closer to the Savior.