Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:34-35 KJV)
Diligence means constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken. It is a virtue that is absent in the life of many christians today as many are often too much in a hurry to do things excellently.
Apostle Paul was a diligent worker. Despite all that he achieved for God in the area of the propagation of the gospel, he still found time to work. His life is a real challenge to christians, both clergy and laity. There is need to be persistent in whatever we are doing either for God or in our secular vocations.
B. EXAMPLES FOR US IN THE SCRIPTURES.
The scriptures use the life of ant to counsel us in Proverbs 6:6-11. Study it and answer the following questions;
i. Explain in your own words verses 6-8.
ii. How will you explain youthful years as the summer of life? (v.8) If youthful years are the summer of life, what are some things that youth should do to prepare for old age which is the winter of life?
iii. How will you explain v.9-11? Apart from physical sleep, what are the other activities that represent oversleeping on the journey of life?
iv. How may oversleeping contribute to poverty in ones life?
Also, in Pr.22:29 the virtues of diligence is extolled again.
v. Why will diligence make a man to stand before kings?
vi. What is the implication of this on your own diligence in the assignments as a worker in your church or fellowship? (2Pet.1:10)
C. APOSTLE PAUL AS A DILIGENT WORKER.
The commitment of Paul to diligence is demonstrated in his writings;
i. Read Acts 18:3. Despite the great contributions of Apostle Paul to Christianity, he still found time to work as a tent maker. Comment.
ii. Read and make comments on Acts 20:34.
iii. Read and make comments on Acts 20:35.
iv. What does Paul say about idleness?(v.6)
v. Make comments on verses 7&8
vi. What will you say about v. 9.
vii. If a leader does not live by example (v.10), will he be able to make the statement in verse 11?
viii. What was the final charge to those who are idle? (v.12)
ix. Was Paul saying that it is wrong for a Minister to be supported by the church? Discuss? (1Cor.9:6&7;13&14)
x. Despite Paul’s belief that he deserved to be supported by the church, he still went ahead to support himself, why? (v.15)
Diligence at work is one of the lessons to be learnt from the life of Apostle Paul. Every assignment both in the church and the secular life must be given utmost attention as “there should be no food for the idle man”