The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man’s precious possession. NKJV
Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth. ESV
The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting; But the precious substance of men is to the diligent. ASV
The lazy person does not roast his prey, but personal possessions are precious to the diligent. NET
A lazy man doesn’t roast his game, but to a diligent man, his wealth is precious. HCSB
Diligence: careful and serious in your work, or done in a careful and determined way
The translations say different things. At first it seems that the character of a man should be one of diligence. But it may also be saying that a man who is diligent will care for his possessions, and that’s good! Either way, these verses build up a man who is of diligent character, and encourage the practice of that character in us. Additionally, while it may be speaking about the rewards for being diligent, it is certainly talking about the goodness of diligence itself. Though there is more to life than what is material it seems to be advocating for the care of material things. And just as it is good to be shrewd with money and material possessions, even more so it should be good to be shrewd with your soul.
There are many things to be diligent about. I can be diligent to study, or invest money, or fulfill tasks at work, or tend to chores at home, or memorize scriptures. And all those things can build into more and greater things; understanding, income, health, etc. Alternatively, if I am lazy, things will rot, and turn to mire and fall apart.
This is reaching beyond this proverb in speculation on ‘diligence’ but, what if a man is diligent in a little, then why shouldn’t he be given more to deal with and cause that to increase too?
For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Was it an absence of diligence in the evil servant who did not invest what was entrusted to him that what was given to him was taken back and given to one who was able to invest it more wisely?
Not having the authority to assert the application of the wisdom of this parable beyond what is spiritual; it is definite that fostering spiritual or material things requires diligence. It is no guarantee that we will get what we want through diligence, though we will get what we need, and all things that we receive will be good. So if we are diligent, we will receive good, even if it can only be counted as joy, not actually being joyful in the moment. Apart from ‘gifts’ that might be received through diligent effort, perhaps it would be wise to view diligence as a gift worth possessing and request it prayerfully so as to not assume we are sufficient unto ourselves to take diligence into our character.
….hopefully the writing/researching part of this work will impove….#speakingof
So, just as it was difficult to illustrate indiscretion in a beautiful woman, it is difficult to illustrate diligence in a man. What I have chosen to draw is a portrait of a person whose face is set and whose brow is furrowed with concentration and upon whose head is a demonstration of the products of diligence; a well-worked landscape, a treasured house, laundry drying, and family playing. This would hopefully mesh something of the mindset of determination with the goodness of things achieved. Diligence is man’s precious possession. To be diligent is to work with determination in such a way as to have found something worth achieving. There are many things worth stewarding and tending to, and diligence is a description of the depth of that stewardship.
And here are some other random thoughts about diligence….
Diligence implies that one has called something good and is fostering its growth. To call a thing ‘good’ (and be right) requires a person to have sufficient authority so that he cannot be ultimately contradicted, and power to sustain its substance and existence. So, if I call ‘life’ good but have only my self as the basis then I cannot reliably argue that life is good. This is because I have no power to sustain life independently, and there are greater authorities who can take life from me. Because I will die and am unable to overpower that reality, I cannot support the truth of the ‘goodness’ of ‘life’. However, God has said that ‘life’ is ‘good’, and has demonstrated multiple times that he has power to sustain it, and is The ultimate authority in all judgments, and therefore, I can call ‘life’ ‘good’ and be diligent to foster it because my belief in the truth of that statement is relative to The Individual who satisfies all requirements to make an absolute claim. And so it is worthwhile to be diligent about the growth and fostering of life.