“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
All of us were diligent at some point in our lives.
As budding toddlers, that diligence prompted us to take step after clumsy step on our way to learning how to walk. We fell. We faltered. And we got back up. We never got embarrassed by our inability to walk the first time we tried. We never expected to master walking on the first day. We persisted at learning to walk and tie our shoes and write our names because it was never an option to stop trying.
Somewhere along the way, though, many of us lost our diligence. Life pushed back against us too many times, and we accepted the lie that things were simply too hard. We accepted the lie that leading our families was too hard; that sacrificing our time to help a neighbor in need was too hard; or that making it to church on Sunday was too hard.
We’ve lost sight of the fact that everything Jesus demands of us is impossible without Him:
loving our enemies
overcoming our sin
turning the other cheek
reading the Bible
submitting to God’s authority
Surprisingly, we seem to understand that our physical bodies only grow when they are stretched beyond comfort. We accept that pain and discomfort are necessary for our physical growth, but we reject the notion that the same is true in our spiritual lives.
We’ve allowed the enemy to take us out of the fight by prompting us to believe that we don’t have what it takes to prevail. But nothing could be further from the truth.
We’re hard-wired by God with a warrior spirit that first emerges when we pretend to be cowboys, soldiers, and superheroes. As adults, that same warrior spirit sparks our interest in knives, action movies, and video games that depict battle. But because we’re disconnected from our Creator, we buy into the notion that Jesus was meek and timid. We turn a blind eye to the battle around us because the world tells us our aggression is toxic.
Furthermore, we’ve forgotten the value of persistence and perseverance in life because we seek our identities in the wrong places. Instead of operating as sons of God, we live life as CEOs and special operators and investment bankers. We live life according to the world’s priorities instead of according to God’s because we’re listening to the wrong voices.
“But the precious possession of a man is diligence.”
The men of Junto Tribe have recognized our tendency to believe the enemy instead of God, and we’re seeking to re-establish our true north. We’re walking together because when one of us falters, there’s a crowd of men to remind him to keep trying.
Just as the disciples bolstered each other, we’re seeking the kind of diligence in our Christian walk that will change our own lives, our families, and our communities. We invite you to join us on the journey.
But we challenge you to recognize that this isn’t a solo journey. It’s a trek that demands fellow travelers who will sustain and challenge and encourage you.
Begin by identifying a single man who could join you in the journey. If you can’t readily think of one, start by asking God to reveal one to you. Your decision to do so will positively impact everyone around you, and will glorify God.
Remember, too, that your fellow traveler needs you just as much as you need him.