Developing character: Developing Diligence

College Blog Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019

A diligent person continually works with great intentionality towards their goals, making use of the available resources. They apply themselves to remain focussed in an attempt to avoid sloppy errors. A diligent person pays close attention to detail and in turn is one who often achieves quality results. Diligence does not rely on talent but uses commitment and perseverance to turn a dream into a reality.

Being diligent is an investment. It is an example of effort, in that what you put into something determines what you will get out of it. A diligent person works hard because anything worth doing is worth doing right, and the way you complete the task is a reflection of who you are. Diligence does not allow a task once begun to remain incomplete. Instead, a diligent person counts the cost and sees things through to the end. The satisfaction of finishing a job is often as meaningful as the praise or reward received from others.

This term, in assemblies, devotions and mentor discussions, students across the College have been challenged to develop a deeper understanding of the concept of displaying diligence in their learning as well as in their social interactions with others. We can choose to be diligent in both significant and insignificant tasks, in easy or difficult jobs. We know that developing the skill of diligence comes as a choice for each, as we continually strive for excellence in all areas of our life, always wanting to serve and honour God with the best we have to offer.

We can show diligence by applying ourselves to each task begun. If we apply ourselves in all situations, no matter the outcome, our joy is found in the process of learning as well as the outcome of our application to the job. A champion is one who gets up, even when they find it hard to do so. They push and show commitment and diligence to the task in the pursuit of excellence.

Diligence demands three necessary traits: patience, flexibility and gentleness. In the attempt to complete a task, we may experience delays beyond our control. Diligence accepts these challenges patiently. A diligent person must be sensitive to the needs of others and the needs of the task and be willing to be flexible when needed. They apply the necessary pressure to complete a task but also remain sensitive to the needs of others. A diligent person uses the force required to complete a job, but balances that drive with gentleness and a concern for others.

In Primary, we have simplified the understanding of a diligent person to five points:

  • Concentrate on our work
  • Follow instructions
  • Do a job right
  • Finish my tasks, and
  • Not be lazy.

Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”. God prizes diligence highly. We read in Proverbs 12:27, “Diligence is man’s precious possession.”

Abigail Adams, the wife of President John Adams, born in 1744, sometimes considered to be a Founder of the United States, quotes, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.”

As we have conversations with our children and support them with their learning tasks or in their social interactions with others, let’s be striving for diligence in each interaction. Let’s encourage them, as Abigail Adams quotes, to apply themselves with ardour and due diligence to life. To not merely do the bare minimum to get by, but to be diligent in applying themselves and giving of their best. To push themselves out of their comfort zones where they can strive for excellence in all they do.

Tara Waller
Head of Primary Years