“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Pr 21:5 (ESV)
Last week, my family had the honor of seeing my brother, Ward, get promoted to Captain in the Navy. It was wonderful to see all of his hard work over the past two decades rewarded with this distinguished honor. With moving every three years, overseas deployments, and a variety of other challenges along the way, Ward has worked diligently to serve our country and take care of his family, and his work has been honored with abundance in the form of his promotion.
Distinguished honors don’t just come to those who receive them, but only after a great deal of work has been put forth. And long-range planning is usually a major part of reaching any honorable goal. Solomon, who became a wise king, understood this principle very well. Over the years, I am sure he saw many servants in his court work hard for a promotion while others tried to take shortcuts to get where they wanted to be. Proverbs 21:5 explains that hastiness and shortcuts lead only to poverty.
Have you ever tried to take a shortcut to get somewhere or something? I’m sure we all have a story about getting lost on the road when trying to take a shortcut. Thankfully, we have map programs on our phones to help give us the best route to help us get to our destination. If we take the time to study the route and plan well, we are able to get where we want to go without any problem. Sure, this planning takes time, but it gets us to where we want to go without needing to take a detour.
Most of us probably have a story of trying to reach a goal hastily. We are impatient people, and sometimes even lazy people, neither of which end with honor or abundance, according to Solomon. Several proverbs reference the value of patient planning and hard work, a few of which include:
Pr 10:4: “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” (NIV)
Pr 12:11: “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” (NIV)
Pr 13:4: “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” (NLT)
Pr 24:27: “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” (NIV)
Honorable goals and their rewards take planning, diligent work, and ultimately patience. Are you eager to pursue a particular goal? Are you struggling with the temptation to reach your goal hastily or without doing the necessary work? Remember that the Lord rewards diligence and hard work, and when you do this, you will appreciate your reward that much more! Continue working toward your goal, following all the necessary steps, so that your diligence will eventually be rewarded with abundance.