Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Diligence, Diligence, is What I Long For - Proverbs Youth Sunday School Lesson

Diligence, Diligence is What I Long For

Brief: God has created the world in such a way that if we work hard in any area of life, we will be rewarded.

(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of Proverbs, Words to the Wise.)

Scripture: Genesis 2:15; Proverbs 10:4; 12:11; 22:13; 24:30-34; 26:15

What is diligence?  

Diligence is working hard, to keep trying to attain your goals, to “give it all you’ve got,” to have endurance.

Read Genesis 2:15.

Why is the message to be diligent in the Bible?  Does God really care if we work hard or not?

God made mankind to work. He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden to take care of it. He has made us and our world in such a way that if we want something, we generally have to work for it. Grades, skills, finances, relationships, spirituality. Everything takes work.

Solomon is contrasting farming, working the land, with chasing fantasies. Why is “working the land” so much better than “chasing fantasies”? 

Working the land is solid.  The land is there.  You know that if you do things right, there will be a crop.  Whereas nothing is a sure thing, it is as close to a guarantee that we have.

How does this verse apply to us if we don’t “work the land”?  

If we work hard in school, we know that we’ll get good grades.  If we work hard at sports or playing an instrument, we know that we’ll get good at it. If we go to work for a company and perform our job duties, they will pay us. If we work hard at our relationships with our spouses, we will have good marriages. 

What are some of the fantasies that we could chase? 

Chasing fantasies might be something like dropping out of school to start your own business.  Or thinking that instead of going to work, you can just play the lottery or invest in the stock market. Or get-rich-quick schemes. “Work 2 hours a day! From home! And earn $5,000 a week!”

What is the “sluggard” doing in this verse?  

Making excuses. He doesn’t want to go outside and go to work, so he’s making up excuses not to.

How do we do the same thing?

We might say that something is too hard. We can’t work in school or at a certain subject because we’re not good at that kind of stuff. Other times, we say we shouldn’t work that hard at our jobs because no one notices anyway. Maybe we say we shouldn’t work hard at being a Christian because we keep messing up anyway.

God’s promise says that if we work at something and continue to work at something, being diligent, we will be rewarded. Things will improve.

According to this passage, what is one way people become poor? 

By being lazy.

Because the sluggard in this passage hasn’t been “working the land,” he’s poor. It’s the same thing with us. If we’re not working at something, if we’re not diligent in some area of our lives, that part of our life is going to be in poor conditions. If we’re not actively working on our spiritual life, it’s going to fall into ruin. If we had a skill and then, we stop using that skill for a while, we’ll lose it. We need to work at things to keep from becoming “poor” in that area.

Why do you think this verse says that the “sluggard” already has his hand in the dish?  What does it mean when it says that he won’t bring the food back to his mouth? 

Work or some way to make money is available to most people. They have their hand in the dish.  All they have to do is take advantage of the opportunities that are around them. All they have to do is bring the food to their mouth.  Another example is that a  good education is available to you. All you have to do is take advantage of it. Spiritually, God’s Word is there for you. All you have to do is invest some time in it.

Bring your hand back to your mouth. Be diligent, and you will be rewarded.


This lesson is included in my book, Proverbs, Words to the Wise: Youth Bible Studies on the Book of Wisdom.
Proverbs, Words to the Wise: Youth Bible Studies on the Book of Wisdom - Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Stephen R.]
Kindle $1.99, Print $4.99

Find more youth lessons on my Free Youth Ministry Helps page!

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