Friday, February 3, 2017

My One Word for 2017: Diligent

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  
(Proverbs 4:23 KJV)

Last year I decided to join in with many others and seek the Lord for the word He desired me to focus on and use it to guide the year (and write blog posts about it).  My word for last year was “abide”.  To read last year’s post see:  My One Word for 2016:  Abide.  While I learned some about what it means to abide in Christ, in the vine; I think I may have missed some important pieces too, such as letting the word truly guide my life and year.  Nevertheless, I plan to continue to abide in Christ as long as I live!

As I pursued the Lord regarding this year’s word, there were several contenders.  Finally, a few days into 2017 the word came.  Prayerfully, this word will “stick” and guide me through the year (even with getting an incredibly slow start).  My heart’s desire is for this word to impact the whole of my life, not just my spiritual life.

My one word for 2017 is:  diligentIf I focus on what this word truly means at the deepest level and its various nuances, this year could really change my life in a positive way.  To meet my many goals, I will need to be diligent!  This is something that does not happen overnight; it happens slowly, but surely over time—as new habits develop. 

Wordificator creation by K. Jolly, All Rights Reserved.

Diligent (noun) is defined as:  “1. constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken.  2. the degree of care and caution expected of a person.”[1]

Diligent (adjective) is defined as:  “1. constant and earnest in effort and application; attentive and persistent in doing something… 2. done or pursued with persevering attention…”[2]

A few synonyms for diligent:  attentive, industrious, painstaking, persevering, and studious.

WordCloud created by K. Jolly. All Rights Reserved.

Personal Photo. Graduate school Commencement, May 1999.

Personal Photo. End of Undergraduate Finals, William Penn University. May 1995 

In pondering the dictionary definition of diligent, I can recall times where I was diligent in pursuing a rather long term goal.  The long term goal was attaining two college degrees.  As a part of my master’s degree work, I decided to pursue the thesis option.  Researching, writing, and defending the thesis required diligence over the long-haul.  Keep in mind, my topic had little to no published research, so I was creating a possible theory to explain the phenomena I experienced and was continuing to see in interviews with my participants.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  
(Proverbs 4:23 KJV)

We are to diligently guard our hearts, as the writer of Proverbs admonishes us.  Being diligent is what God desires from His children.  In God’s perspective, we are either “all in” or “all out”—fence sitting is not allowed.  To humbly walk with the Lord, to abide in the vine, requires a degree of focus and diligence.  Diligently pursuing the Lord (to discover He is pursuing us too!), while diligently studying the Scriptures gives us a new perspective on the whole of life.

Personal Photo.

Personal Photo

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 
(Acts 17:10-11 KJV)

By keeping alert and diligently studying the Scriptures as did the Bereans, we will be prepared, ready for the Lord’s return (like the wise virgins see, Matthew 25:1-13).  Preparing and doing the necessary work with alertness and a watchful readiness will make all the difference in our lives and in the lives of those around us. 

The woman described in Proverbs 31 is a good example of one who is diligent—doing the various tasks at hand.  Yes, this is “work”, however, it is work with meaning and great reward—reward particularly throughout eternity.  When we have a solid work ethic others will take note.  Sadly, a good work ethic will not always be rewarded or appreciated; in fact, it will be looked down upon—work hard, nevertheless.

 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.  
(Luke 9:62 KJV)

Being diligent is reflected in Jesus’ admonition about putting your hand to the plow and not looking back.  What is true of kingdom work is also true in the workaday world where we reside.  The focus is forward, not backwards—focusing on what lies before benefits us far more than being encumbered by the past. 

As this year slowly unfolds, I anticipate learning and doing more than last year by actively and diligently doing what lies before me.  I am looking forward to seeing the difference this one word can make in my life and in my home. 

I know that I will need encouragement along the way.  Who knows, there may be more blog posts on this topic throughout the year!  How can we encourage others to be diligent in living for the Lord?

If you had a word for last year, how did it help you? 

If you have a word for this year how is it guiding you, thus far?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for developing within us the quality of diligence—the ability to focus on and stick with a task until it is complete.  Remind us how all that we do is to be done as unto You, knowing this should impact how we approach our daily work.  Fill us with the desire to diligently study Your Word, to search the Scriptures for ourselves and not take others’ words as true.  Likewise, instill in us a desire to be diligent in all other aspects of our lives, and thereby reap the dividends of a life lived to the fullest with the end in mind.  May we be always ready for Jesus’ return!  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


[1] See “diligent” Random House Webster’s College Dictionary (1996). Published by Random House, New York.
[2] See “diligent” Random House Webster’s College Dictionary (1996). Published by Random House, New York.


  1. I love your word DILIGENT! And excellent word...and one that will certainly be a positive challenge in your life to explore and develop and grow. I look forward to what the Lord will have you share with us throughout this year. I have found that having a "One Word" for the year has helped me in subtle and not so subtle ways to grow in my relationship with Christ as well strengthening my focus and purpose in life. My words over the past few years have been : hope, strengthen, focus, grace, and this year is REST!
    Praying that you will be "diligent" to become more "diligent" this year! :)

    1. Thank you Pam for your kind comments! What you've stated is what I'm hoping for myself. It will be good to have this focus, not just spiritually but in other ways as well. Thank you for your prayers for me regarding this word--they are needed and appreciated!


    2. P.S. Thank you for sharing your word for this year, as well as past years.

  2. That is a perfect word for your year, Kim! Being diligent in all we do for the Lord's sake will never go unrewarded, though others may not see it as such. That doesn't matter! Like Paul, we continue to strive for the goal and not give up. God certainly is pleased when we pursue Him in our daily lives with commitment and diligence.
    Love and blessings!

    1. Thank you, Martha! Yes, I believe the Lord does reward our being diligent. My desire this year is to be diligent in the whole of life, not just in pursing the Lord and reading/studying the Word. Yes, you are spot on--about rewards or lack thereof for being diligent--this is something that I need to learn and take to heart.

      Love and blessings!

    2. Hi Kim! I think your word for the year is just perfect. It does take diligence, being intentional, before we can expect anything to really change.
      I have chosen words for the year for a while now, and of course I can always be more aware of that word in my year, I do think it works behind the scenes. I also try to write one or two posts during the year reflecting on that word. That helps me to be more responsible to that word.
      I have to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your photos of college. I love getting to know my blog-friends better. Thank you for sharing some of yourself with us!

    3. Hi Ceil! Thank you for your comments and kind words. Yes, I think that writing more about my word will help me stay focused and really allow it to guide this year.

      I'm glad you enjoyed my photos of college! I looked SO YOUNG then. :)




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