Diligence

Diligence
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Nothing worthwhile is ever accomplished by the man who gives up easily. A persistency born of courage and a courage born of faith are needed if one would live greatly.
 
If as much diligence, faithfulness, steadfastness, and persistence were sued in spiritual things as are used in material things, how quickly the world would be transformed! Many demonstrations fall short of being perfected from no other cause than lack of an unwavering, unyielding steadfastness. Spiritual integrity is something more than personal effort. “Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh?” No. Back of the outer man, in the spiritual forces of the inner man, there must be a laying hold of truth and a holding on to it that knows no letting up.
 
The spirit that makes one always diligent and faithful is the spirit that leads to freedom and health and success and perfection.
 
Solomon knew something about this, ,and he tells us the difference between the diligent man and the slothful man. “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule; but the slothful shall be put under task-work.”
 
“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness.”
 
“The way of the sluggard is as a hedge of thorns.”
 
“The precious substance of men is to the diligent.”
 
The diligent man shall have dominion and plenty, and that which eh has is precious-it is the real,t rue substance.
 
The slothful man knows no liberty. He cannot go forth to success because he believes in hindrances and fears them.
 
“Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep.” The world is troubled by slothfulness. The inner spiritual forces have not been used and men have fallen into a deep sleep. Only an awakening can do away with the nightmares of sickness and poverty and death. The awakening comes through the spoken word.
 
Speak these words diligently, with the attention directed within, and see what the results will be: “Awake, thou that sleepest . . . and Christ shall shine upon thee.” A little awakening, a little diligence, a little more awakening, a little more diligence, ,and after awhile the awakening will be so great that the characteristic of faithfulness to Spirit will dominate, and unfaithfulness even in little things will be an impossibility.
 
“He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.”
 
Enthusiasm
 
What is enthusiasm, and what is its place in the spiritual life and work?
 
Enthusiasm is the powerful expression of a living interest. It takes the drudgery out of labor and gives wings to service. It arouses man to an appreciation of his eternal nature and gives him that impulse toward achievement which produces spiritual growth. It goes hand in hand with diligence in the attainment of success. The one embraces and imparts life to the other.
 
Enthusiasm is not always given its true expression. Sometimes the energy of the mind is wasted in a state that erroneously is called enthusiasm but is only a bubbling over of feeling that is not centered in Spirit. Spiritual enthusiasm stimulates a man’s mind to activity; it is a support and sustaining strength in every part of his being, through all the steps of his progress.
 
A man who possesses spiritual enthusiasm imparts it to others, for his work is vital with his enthusiasm. He is never a leaner, but always a lifter. If there is anything to be done he rises to the occasion and enters heartily into the work at hand. Such a quality cannot be spared in the process of bringing forth the new man in Christ Jesus. Neither can the new age, which is at hand, be established without it.
 
This One Thing I Do
 
A steadfast, unswerving directness of mind is necessary to anyone who would achieve success in any field. This is especially true of those who follow Spirit. Those who are steadfast are not driven about by every wind of doctrine, but are established in the Truth. Many think that they are established in the Truth because they believe some creed, and can quote Scripture to back it up. Such a person is likely to be thrown off his foundation, because it is not sure. The only real foundation is an understanding of Truth. We should understand Truth as we understand mathematics, ,and those who have this understanding cannot waver. There is only one Truth, and when we know that Truth we are steadfast.
 
Belief in both good and evil makes one unsteady and wavering. By understanding the truth that there is no reality in evil we center our mind in the good, ,and harmony in mind, body, and affairs follows. So we may become steadfast by denying all materiality and imperfection, and seeing only the perfection of Christ.
 
Faith is essential in establishing a firm, unwavering mind. First we must understand Truth, then we must lay hold of it and make it ours by faith. NO one will be an overcomer until he has the understanding and the faith that make him steadfast. He who is steadfast will not attempt shortcuts to demonstrate Truth. He loves Truth for its own sake; he does not seek it as a means of bringing to him the fulfillment of his desires. He rejoices in Truth and waits for its manifestation in his affairs.
 
There is a great effort on the part of metaphysicians to control thought. The power to control thought comes from steadfastness. “One thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, . . . I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Everyone must come to the place where he can say with Paul: “One thing I Do.” “Forgetting the things which are behind” is one of the secrets of acquiring steadfastness. Looking back or looking forward scatters the thought force and makes concentration and demonstration very difficult. An understanding of the omnipresent good, and faith in it, will center the mind in the present and free it from the tendency to look to the past or to the future.
 
People who are sincere and conscientious sometimes fear that they are wavering when in reality their faith is being tested and proved. In the outer realm of consciousness there may be a feeling of unsteadiness, , but if there is even a small faith there will be a center where quietness and assurance reign, and the conscious mind realizes stability. There is no genuine cause for discouragement if one will quietly rest in the place of stillness within and patiently wait until the Spirit of faith and steadfastness does its perfect work. This assures the full victory.
 
In the boldness and assurance of faith speak your word of Truth, even though appearances may contradict it. Do not contend with the conditions that you wish to overcome. Striving with them makes them seem real. See only Truth.
 
A definite purpose and a steady, unwavering faith in your power to accomplish are necessary to demonstrate prosperity. Uncertainty and changeableness keep you disturbed and confused; positiveness gives you direction and right action in yo0ur affairs, ,and brings you success.
 
This is a good thought to hold:
I am free from all vacillating thoughts. The steadiness of purpose, the industry, the honesty, and the will of divine law now move me, and I am henceforth true to their guidance. Success and prosperity in Spirit and in Truth now come to me, and I abide in them and they abide in me through Jesus Christ.
 
Attention
 
Have you ever watched the quick response of a company of soldiers to the word “Attention”? Every nerve, muscle, and thought, is held in abeyance as they await the next command. Confusion would ensue if the command for attention were not heeded.
 
There is a captain within your soul who will guide you, guard you, heal you, prosper you, if you will give your undivided attention to Him. Frequently in his dilemmas man seeks every outer avenue for ways and means to meet his problem. He wastes his time and energy in needless running to and fro, in confused and aimless effort. With his attention fixed on the outer need, he prays in anguish to God. In depression of spirit, turmoil of thought, discouragement and hopelessness of mind, he holds fast to his trouble and hopes that by some act of magic he may be set free. Many times in his downward gaze he even seeks within his own body temple for shortcomings and sins that may be the cause of his present condition. In this way he again gives his attention to negative beliefs instead of keeping his vision raised Godward. Is it any wonder that he loses sight of the divine idea that God has for him? Is it any wonder that he cannot hear God’s answer to his prayer?
 
In the meantime, God is quietly waiting until this seeking soul shall give Him its undivided attention and receive from Him the directions that will solve the problem, the faith that will make the healing manifest, and the love that will adjust the inharmony. Attention is all that God asks of man, for it is all that is needed for the perfect demonstration: attention to love instead of hate or jealous bitterness, attention to peace instead of strife and self-pity, attention to strength instead of weakness, attention to wisdom instead of hasty and unwise methods, ,attention to health instead of disease, attention to faith instead of hopelessness, attention to courage instead of cowardice, attention to good instead of evil. Attention to God—heart, mind, body, and soul—this is true diligence. Give your attention to God, and you will receive rich returns.
 
Be diligent in God’s behalf even as God is diligent in yours. The thought of the diligent turns Godward, and in God finds the source of all wisdom, all life, all contentment, all supply. The daily life of the diligent is conformed to the pattern of Jesus Christ and is manifest in the outer as perfect health, ,order, and harmony. “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness”—plenty of health, plenty of prosperity, plenty of love, plenty of satisfaction and happiness, plenty of blessings to bestow on others.
 
Unity School of Christianity
Lee’s Summit, MO