Hidden Nuggets Series #59 – “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” -Proverbs 10:4
What do you see?
At first glance I see the obvious – the lines in the palm, the shape of the fingers and thumb, the knuckles and the fingernails. These are the physical features that should clearly stand out.
Yet with closer examination I see something else. These hands represent my livelihood. The way in which I use them determines the course of my life.
I perceive only two possible scenarios for the work of my hands. They can choose to be diligent hands or they can choose to be slack hands. That choice can shape my life.
Diligent vs. Slack Hands
Diligent hands show care for their work. They are conscientious about the duties they perform. One would find them always busy, moving, and actively engaged in the challenges of the day.
They are tenacious, persistent and committed.
Slack hands fail to demonstrate the same work ethic. These hands produce lackadaisical effort and lack the energy to complete essential tasks. They are slow to respond to tasks and are negligent in their work. When they do manage to finish an assignment it is done haphazardly by cutting every imaginable corner.
They are careless, inefficient and lazy.
Which hands do you have?
A Proper Mindset Comes Before Diligence
The reason I ask the question is because of verses like this one from the Bible…
“He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)
An obvious difference exists between hands that choose to work diligently and hands that don’t. One leads to riches and another does not. We are not told exactly how rich diligent hands might make one become. At the very least we can assume they allow us to provide for our day-to-day needs. In most parts of the world that would be considered rich.
I continue to be amazed at people who assume riches should fall in their lap with little effort. Or even worse, be given to them by someone else without doing any work. What drives that spirit of laziness in a person? Surely they can’t enjoy the poverty that has consumed them. Where is the drive that would spur them on to better their situation and create long-term financial success for their family?
It’s difficult for me to speak to the mental and emotional challenges someone who is poor might be experiencing. And I know that circumstances can seem like an overwhelming issue. I’m guessing that discouragement and despair have taken over to the point that they think no amount of diligent work will move them out of their current state. If that’s the case then it’s too bad because the first step to working hard is to have the willpower to do so. If they can’t muster even a shred of determination there is very little hope for life change to occur.
Commit to Diligence
Look at your hands again and be honest. Are they committed to diligence? Do they work hard to provide for your needs each day? If not, ask yourself if you are enjoying the alternative.
It’s not a place I’m willing to go.
Questions: How has diligence paid off in your life? Have there been times when you were less committed to working hard? How can we encourage those who are beaten down to develop the willpower to succeed?
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