“A lazy man does not roast his prey, but the precious possession of a man is diligence.” Proverbs 12:27, NASB
There is a certain possession that the Bible esteems as valuable, something to be desired. It is not a material treasure; it cannot be bought with worldly currency. That precious possession is diligence.
The best way I can expound upon this scripture is to share how I have witnessed this trait from my parents. To this day, they continue to amaze me beyond words. I don’t ever remember seeing them idle or wasting time. When I was growing up, I recall both of them going to work early in the morning each day. As both of them are lawyers, they had plenty of things to occupy them; however, they somehow managed to come home and eat three meals with their children almost every day.
When my father was home, I remember that he would either be reading or writing. My mother incessantly tended to projects that she would follow through to completion. They were compassionate people, reaching out to help the poor and underprivileged. I remember many times when we children would have to sit squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder at the dinner table because some poor folks were invited to dine with us.
My father is now in his eighties, but he still goes to work every day: he serves the people as the oldest member of Congress in a Southeast Asian country. Surrounded with books and so many documents to read and review, he always carries a pen, a small pad of paper, or a book to read. My mother is in her late seventies, and yes, she also goes to work each day. A long time ago, when I was a little child, she started a cooperative to help and encourage poor people to save their money and to free them from the grasp of greedy usurers. What she set into motion decades ago has now grown by leaps and bounds — from a membership of less than 20, and at present, to almost a hundred thousand — one of the biggest cooperatives in a Southeast Asian country.
Diligence involves perseverance, persistence, and tenacity. It is not achieved overnight, but grows through the days and through the years as it is applied. It is honoring one’s Creator with making the best use of one’s time and talents, and like the cooperative that my mother once started, through daily application, grows exponentially in value. Diligence eventually becomes a person’s precious possession where moths cannot corrupt, nor can thieves break through and steal.