Pushing Thirty

and shedding pretentions

Diligents Rule! Sluggards Drool!

No, that’s not a typo.

(How else would you personify it?)

One of the things I’ve gained a vision to grown as I approached 30 is diligence. The book of Proverbs has much to say about it, you might even suffer me to wax proverbial: DILIGENCE IS NEXT TO GODLINESS.

If you don’t have a firm grasp of your life vision and what it will take to get there, you will waste time. You will waste your life.

I thought I’d take today and highlight the four or five components of diligence from the Proverbs that I’ve come to love. Here’s how to kick start your self-government faculties (i.e. get your rear in gear).

1. Don’t love sleep. Can’t over emphasize this one, really. A sin sign of laziness is hitting the snooze, getting to bed too late, and getting up over the course of an hour and a half. Here is the first battle cry of the diligent.

Proverbs 20:13 (New King James Version)

13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

2. Follow Through This one is tricky. If you’re not used to governing your time, any step towards productivity will be rewarding in its own right. But a common pitfall is to mistake any work for complete work. Consider this:

Proverbs 19:24 (English Standard Version)

24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

Pretty straight forward, right?

Step one: Reach in bowl.

Step two: lift hand to mouth and eat.
It doesnt’ matter what phase one is, it’s only phase one. If you don’t follow it with phase two, you’ll still starve.

3. A Habit of Action. You may think you’re problem is not enough time, or not enough money, and if so, you might be diligence-indigent. Look at this;

Proverbs 12:27 (New King James Version)

27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting,
But diligence is man’s precious possession.

This idea is a corollary to the last. But the reality is that you need to think in terms of getting motion, and regiment, and routine. The obvious point to hunting food is to then roast it. But this guy doesn’t know the drill. He thinks he can relax or get distracted and yet not waste the meat. But he needs a focused initiative that runs all the way to his full stomach. Action plans and vision casting are good starting points, but at the end, you’ll only be as productive as your habits. Value diligent habits as a lifestyle, and many things will naturally fall into place.

4. Do Anything This is one of my favorites. If you’re not naturally diligent (which means your parents didn’t drive foolishness from your members with a stick), you probably have felt the paralysis of wondering what to do. Good news: just do something. Compare:

Proverbs 14:23 (New King James Version)

23 In all labor there is profit,
But idle chatter leads only to poverty.

In all, A-L-L, labor there is profit. But letting the engine idle just drains the gas tank. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t let that stop you from starting.

Four critical elements:

Don’t Love Sleep
Follow Through
Habit of Action
Do Something!

Let these become our battle cry! The hand of the Diligent will Rule!


April 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments


So, I’m loving todays chapter in the proverbs. One of my favorite themes in Proverbs is diligence. Its a real simple concept: it pays to work. But chapter 24 is the sermon on diligence par excellence because of the last five verses.

I call it the parable of the Sluggard and his Nettles. Feel that? That was Aesop twitching in his proverbial grave. Sing it if you know it:

Proverbs 24:30-34 (English Standard Version)

I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

Now, I’m going to stick with this topic for awhile, but at this moment I’m considering Twitter, an whether or not social networking can help me be more or less diligent.

This is probably a good time to mention that I initially joined Twitter because I was spending too much time on FaceBook. I found out that I could remotely (thru Twitter thru my phone) update my FB status. That sounded like a good excuse to not open FB when I should be doing work. Right? Right.

The problem is, that didn’t solve the problem. Now I’m just linked in through a different source, and I’m spending too much time deciding between Twitterriffic and Twitbin. I’m all geeked out and wondering if I should be following all my friends from FB, or celebrities from a different sphere, or possible business contacts– or all of the above. When I’m not on twitter I’m thinking about how to update my status with something witty in the hash marks (e.g., #iputthewitintwitter).

Today read this article on the differences between how you use FB and Twitter. It was really helpful, especially since I’m leaning towards using Twitter for business contacts. Which would be a plus to the pro-column on the diligence report. That is, if I could wrap my mind around the abstruse way that Twitter actually works for you if you let it by visceral networking. Like yesterday, I was psyched to show my wife (avid FB’er, non-Tweeter) how I was following Dave Ramsey’s tweet’s, and how my logo was a typewriter. But after a minute or two, she said, “I don’t really get Twitter.” And to that I replied, “I don’t really get it either.”

I’m hoping there’s more to Twitter than thorns and nettles, but I’m not yet sure that it qualifies for actual work. I’ve found in the past that there is a false sense of productivity locked up in digital networking, mainly because I’m physically typing. It’s heavily reminiscent of the sensation I get while blogging. But I can say at this point that there is a potential for work here.


April 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment