Patience is a virtue, so is diligence

September 1, 2005 at 12:00 am | Posted in Character in Today's World | Leave a comment

Unfortunately, a lot of Christians, especially teens, don’t seem to remember that until it comes to someone else. I heard an interesting example the other day. Bible copying.

Imagine for a moment, a room full of scribes, spending hours copying scripture. The methods that were used were so meticulous, and so precise, that as an example let’s look at the book of Isaiah.

In comparison between two ancient manuscripts from different time periods, “…Isaiah 53

shows that only 17 letters differ from the Massoretic text [when compared to the Qumranian text]. Ten of these are mere differences in spelling (like our “honor” and the English “honour”) and produce no change in the meaning at all. Four more are very minor differences, such as the presence of a conjunction (and) which are stylistic rather than substantive. The other three letters are the Hebrew word for “light.” This word was added to the text by someone after “they shall see” in verse 11. Out of 166 words in this chapter, only this one word is really in question, and it does not at all change the meaning of the passage. We are told by biblical scholars that this is typical of the whole manuscript of Isaiah.” 1

1R. Laird Harris, Can I Trust My Bible? (Chicago: Moody Press, 1963)

What an example of meticulousness these scribes set! They wiped their pen every time they came to the Lord’s name, they copied one letter at a time, and when they were finished with a chapter, they would count the total number of words and make sure they were all the same. It took so much time. And if they made a mistake, they started ALL OVER.

Now, I ask you to imagine a room full of modern teenagers, told to copy scripture. Would they take the same meticulous care?

First, let’s look at what they’re taught. Are they taught to take meticulous care in anything but their hair, nails, clothing or make-up? What does the world teach? Does it teach you to be diligent? Or to get the job done? What kind of example is set for kids? One of hard working, diligent, honest work? Or an Enron type of job? Kids are not taught, by the world around them to be diligent. They’re taught as long as you finish, you’re good. What do all the get-rich-quick schemes teach kids, teens, even adults? Now, what do you think?

This is not meant to be a condemnation of teens today, indeed, “there is no condemnation in Christ.” But it’s meant to be a wake up call. Wake up! Work with diligence! 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Perseverance, and diligence are dying traits here in America. “We’ll just hire the Chinese to do it, or the Mexicans to do it.” No! Don’t be adverse to hard work. Because if you are, that is the very thing that God will give you! I would highly recommend you reference my good friend Alex’s series, “The Myth Of Adolescence Part 1” and “The Myth Of Adolescence Part 2” . It delves a little bit deeper into the topic. “We face a crisis and an opportunity. A crisis, in the sense that we can no longer afford to slowly drift towards adulthood, viewing the teen years as a vacation from responsibility…” And Brett’s post, or series, “The World is Flat”, looks at the results of this way of thinking. This is sort of a branch off. They are absolutely 100% correct. But I’m going a little deeper into why that’s the way Americans are. We go for the trivial jobs, because others require too much work.

So I leave my readers, and the youth of America this challenge: don’t settle for just getting the job done. Get it done right, work hard, and with diligence. When trials come, work harder, and then you watch what God will do with that. If we had a generation of people, that did everything as if doing unto the Lord…we just might change the world…

Marshall

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