We’re continuing our series on The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife. Today is part one in the discussion on the virtue of diligence. Find the table of contents at the end of this post.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; – 2 Peter 1:5
Looking to this verse in its original context, we see the word diligence translated from the Greek word spoudē which is an earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything.
Perhaps a modern translation of the word diligence might further add to its clarity: constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken. (Dictionary.com)
When I think of the word diligence, I can’t help but think of Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter three. He’s a runner in a spiritual race, leaving anything behind that might weigh him down. He gave all diligence to the race before him and threw aside anything that stood in the way.
I’m reminded of a pair of running shoes I picked up a couple of years ago. You can barely feel the weight of one in the palm of your hand, but less weight equals faster feet, which is important in the long run. In fact many experienced runners believe that even a few ounces can make a difference in their overall time.
The virtue of diligence is faith-focused determination. It’s the effort we put into nurturing our families because we know this brings glory to Him. It’s the attention we give to our marriage as we bring ourselves into submission to His will. It’s turning our back on sin and our eyes upon Jesus. Everything we do is pointing to one thing–His will for our lives.
Paul says, “This one thing I do…”
This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14
Stop and consider the race for a minute. What’s weighing you down? Are you over-committed? Are you carrying around resentment, bitterness, anger or pride? Have you lost focus of what’s really important? Is idleness consuming your time?
In Acts chapter 27 we read an interesting story about the apostle Paul and several other prisoners who were sailing to Italy under the supervision of Julias the centurion. After making a stop and transferring ships, the winds were so rough that it was impossible to stay on course. They docked at the Island of Crete. By this time the stormy autumn weather made it impossible to continue on. Paul warned them that they should stay put, but they ignored him and continued the journey en route to a better harbor.
Here’s where the life lesson comes in. While out at sea, they lost control, and in order to survive, they had to lighten the ship. On the first day they threw out the anchors, on the second day the cargo, and on the third day they threw out their tackle and provisions.
And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. – Acts 27:20
It wasn’t until they were fully reliant on God that they found a glimpse of hope. Hope was there all along, but sometimes we need to come to the end of our rope before we realize that we’re resting in the palm of God’s hand.
Paul advised them that God would rescue them, but that they must remain together.
In a final act of faith, they lightened the ship yet again and threw their food into the sea.
The ship and everything in it was destroyed, but every one of those men made it safely to shore.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-3
A couple sets out to make their marriage work. That’s the intention of every loving young couple. But somehow sin makes its way through the door. It distracts you, it deceives you, and it entices you into tearing each other down.
Like fierce wind on a mighty sea, sin makes it impossible to stay the course until you’re willing to lighten the ship. Throw off everything that is weighing you down, and grab hold of the Savior. He’ll bring you safely to shore.
The schedule for this series
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2 – Purity Pt. 1
Week 2 – Purity Pt. 2
Week 3 – Self Control Pt. 1
Week 3 – Self Control Pt. 2
Week 4 – Love Pt. 1
Week 4 – Love Pt. 2
Week 5 – Diligence Pt. 1
You are loved by an almighty God,
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