Diligent Rule

Proverbs 12:23-24 

23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly. 24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.

Maagap vs Masipag

How do you translate the Filipino saying, “Talo ng maagap ang masipag?” “The punctual person beats or outshines the hardworking person.” Of course, it’s reality if the punctual person works as hard as any hardworking person. But if a punctual person is lazy and unproductive, a hardworking person has advantage.

When companies require employees to punch their time in and time out, punctual employees come to work very early to punch the time cards. You may have observed that some employee spend precious time applying make-up in the washroom or office. Others spend work time chatting or checking Social Media. Whether punctual or hardworking, whoever is more productive is better.

Business establishments install cameras around the building to observe productive and unproductive employees. If you’re business owner, who will you promote or give salary increase? You’ll promote diligent employees. Right?

Together let’s reflect on what King Solomon advised in Ecclesiastes 9:10,

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

To do our duties and responsibilities with all our might is godly instruction. This command exposes that human tendency to relax. Can you easily accept it? The tendency to relax and idle is instinctive sinful nature of mankind. We do not want others to dictate what we should do. But since we have utility bills to pay, we are forced to find employment. And of course, find a job we should enjoy.

How can we find a job that we can enjoy working with all our might and not idle or lazy? Let’s reflect on what it says in Ecclesiastes 5:19-20, 19When God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

We should pray for to persevere happily in our toil, labor or employment. Do you believe that God prepared better job opportunity for you? Has the Lord designed a job that you’re motivated to perform diligently? Do you expect your career to advance at your current place of work? What do you think? Won’t the Lord cause your boss to promote you if you diligently work with all your heart?

1.  Heart

23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

Whatever is in our heart can be exposed by our attitude, behavior or word. Speech reveals wisdom or foolishness. It is prudent to be cautious and speak at the proper moment. We accept that not everyone is prepared to listen attentively.

Foolish people can be mindless of the consequences of what they say. They may carelessly speak out whatever they have in their mind. Do you agree?

Only When Drunk

It’s foolish to recklessly speak out what’s in the mind; the consequence is costly like driving while drunk. A comic strip featured a couple was going home from a date. The husband drives the car. Not mindful of the traffic light, he did not stop at red light. Suddenly, they heard a siren. Patrol car was behind them.

“Sorry officer! I did not notice the red light,” the husband apologized. “He is lying. He noticed it. I told him to stop at red light!” the wife told the police. “Shut up! You are not the driver!” the husband shouted. “Does your husband always shout at you?” The officer asked the wife. “Not always. He is a loving husband, but he only shouts at me when he is drunk!” the wife responded sheepishly.

Of course, you know that beating the red light and driving under influence of alcohol have costly consequences. But still reckless drivers drink and drive.

Together, let us reflect on what it declares in Proverbs 19:14, 14Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Husbands have to endure their nagging wives, and wives have to endure the snore of their husband. Someone said, “Wives cannot stop nagging at day time, and husbands cannot stop snoring at night time to balance their situation.”

Do you consider that as just mockery of reality in life or wise observation? Anyway, to be prudent is far favorable than foolishness. Husbands: One item you may want to pray for your wives is that: “Pray that God make your wife prudent.” Most wives take care of budgeting, and to budget carefully requires prudence.

Prudence helps us to be cautious not to squander our resources. It favors us to carefully plan for prudent expenditures as well as diligent with our hands.

2.  Hand

24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.

Well, there are rich people who inherited their wealth. Others ascribe their wealth to diligence of hands. Most often, the rich are favored. And because of that, many individuals want to become rich. During election in Asia, candidates use their money to buy votes and hope to be elected to government offices.

Most often, poor candidates are helpless; they just rely upon volunteers who may support their cause. Politicians may promise, “If you’ll vote for me, I’ll help improve the economy!” Can you identify who knows to improve the economy based on personal life experiences? Do you trust financially deprived candidate?

Sensible voters choose the rich candidates and hope that they can really help improve the economy, just as they have proven in their own practical life.

Yet, if we can’t think of something productive, there’s tendency to just do nothing. It is instinctive for humans to find relaxation while resources are still abundant.


Reflect on what happen after the prodigal son wastefully spent his wealth in wild living. It narrated Luke 15:13-16. 13The younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

This parable exposes foolish tendency to squander resources in wild living. There are many disturbed individuals anywhere around the world where parents had wild lifestyle and bad vices and children followed their examples. The foolish can be readily victimized by wild living; they’ve got no prudence on expenditures.

A diligent hand is productive while lazy hands prefer wild living. It’s human nature to be idle. We need instruction from Ecclesiastes 11:6, 6Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

Idleness is deceptive sin. We should perform actively and not to be idle.

The prodigal son squandered his wealth in wild living. He was foolish. He had no prudence. But, you have heard it said that God is the God of second chance. He always gives opportunities for redemption. If we return to him and seek his help, he guides us on how we may live in more productive life. Together, let us reflect on what happen when the prodigal son returned to his father in Luke 15:17-20:

17When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” 20So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed his prodigal son.

This story illustrates how God patiently waits for anyone to return to him. The father did not run after his prodigal son. He waited for him to return. Does God run after a person who turns his back to the Lord? What do you think?

The prodigal son may have been filthy odorous but his father embraced him and kissed him with compassion. Likewise, the Lord embraces anyone who returns to him despite the filthiness of experiences we’ve gone through in life.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Pray for stronger faith, wisdom and inspiration of the Holy Spirit to readily accept our need of God.

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