God instructs us to be diligent for a reason.
Here’s a very good example of why it’s important!

Burning House

Three young bachelors lived in a house. Each one was in his mid 20s. All three were known for partying and consuming large quantities of alcohol.

One young man was arrested for driving under the influence and lost his driver’s license. This woke him up and brought him to the awareness that the party lifestyle of simply living for the moment was dragging him down. The pleasures of sin would only last for a season.

Realizing that the bad influences of the other young men was holding him back, he moved out, purchased his own home, started going to Alcoholics Andy FightingAnonymous, and began making strides to turn his life around. He joined me on the fire department and we strengthened our friendship. I even invited him to come out to the Northwoods Conference Center to help on various projects. This gave me an opportunity to continue sharing with him about spiritual things.

The other two fellows continued living the slothful, sluggardly lifestyle that the consumption of alcohol can bring upon a person.

In winter every year, ice forms up on the eves of a house due to the heat loss and melting snow. If one does not continually clear the snow off the roof, the ice Three Firemanwill form thicker and heavier and water will begin to leak into the house. The way to solve the problem is to remove the snow from the roof and pound the ice off the eaves.    This process had not been done once this year at the house where these two slothful men resided. The snow continued to fall and the ice continued to grow, accelerating the problem to the point where the house was leaking in several areas.

The young man who had moved out and mended his ways had taken the initiative to avoid this problem in years past. Now that he had moved away, the two slothful men decided to find an easier way to solve the problem with little or no effort. They stuffed electric heaters back into the attic to warm the roof from the inside and melt the ice. Heat tape was run all along the inside of the roof.

Andy Late that night, the heaters caught the aged, fibrous insulation on fire. It was only a short time before the fire began to consume the roof.  The house began to fill with smoke. The dog began to frantically bark outside. The neighbor heard the noise, saw the flames, and rushed inside, waking the two young men who were sleeping soundly on the couch (not in their beds!).

The fire department was paged out. Quickly arriving at the fire hall, I threw on my bunker pants, jumped in Engine 3 and rushed to the scene. As soon as we arrived, our fire chief deemed the house a total loss. We simply managed the flames so the adjacent buildings would not catch on fire.

After fighting the fire for many hours on this cold January night, a lull in the action enabled us the opportunity to reflect on what had happened. I talked with Firefightersthe young man who used to be staying at that house only a year earlier. He would have lost everything he owned in the inferno. Because he had taken the initiative to remove himself from this bad environment where all ambition had been smothered, the Lord  spared him from the suffering and loss of all his worldly possessions.

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. Proverbs 10:4

~ Andy Hacker