Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.


“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer,

or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”


Proverbs 6: 6-8


Industriousness is the quality of mind and heart that makes one busily and usefully active. This

definition shows that it consists of three parts: (1) activity, which is the chief ingredient of

industriousness; (2) diligence; if one’s work is done without his being busy, or if his work is

done lazily, sleepily, indifferently, unenergetically or slowly, one could not be called industrious;

and (3) usefulness; many people are busily active, yet they work to no purpose, hence their busy

activity accomplishes nothing or next to nothing.


Religious Industriousness


Industriousness may be either secular or religious. We will only consider religious

industriousness, whose sphere of activity is in one’s own mind, heart and will and toward others’

minds, hearts and wills. In the mind, it bends its energies to understand the generalities and the

details of the Truth of God’s Word. He is also diligent to retain the knowledge of the Truth

already gained. He then adds reasoning thereon, and by doing so he develops a well-reasoned

out grasp of the Truth in its generalities and details.


Furthermore, he adds love for the Truth to its study as just described; which not only gives him a

better hold on it, but it also makes it the power of God working in his responsive heart rightly to

keep it. He then uses his will power to increase the understanding, remembering, reasoning on

and loving the Truth, so that it becomes a living power in one.


The true and loving heart, having been refreshed by the Truth, delights in sharing it with others.

And such sharing increases the imparter’s perceptive, reasoning and memory faculties. The Lord

in appreciation, doubtless rewards such industriousness by giving such fuller insights into its

heights, depths, lengths and breadths.


This religious industriousness will manifest itself also in practicing the Truth that one learns and

gives to others; for the main purpose in the Lord giving us the Truth and its accompanying

privileges is to develop in us the Divine love out of a pure heart, a good conscience and an

undissembled faith (1 Timothy 1: 5).


Some Examples of Industriousness


God’s people vary in their degree of industriousness. Beyond all comparison, Jesus was the most

industrious of all God’s servants on earth; for during but 31⁄2 years of ministry He wore out fully

99% of His perfect vitality, while Adam, before he sinned, having the same perfection as Jesus

had, endured the rigors of the curse for 928 years before he died.


The Apostle Paul’s activity, which was at least as great as that of all the other Apostles

combined, was also one of high degree. Arius was full of activities as author of both prose and

poetry, as well as an orator, preacher, teacher and debater. In the 28 years of Luther’s particular

reformatory work, he did almost as much by preaching, teaching, lecturing, writing, counseling

and organizing as perhaps any other man that ever lived did in 28 years.


John Wesley was a man of amazing industry. Besides writing 12 royal octavo volumes, he

condensed the writings of others into 60 royal octavo volumes; travelled, mainly on horseback or

in carriages, 250,000 miles; preached between 40,000 and 50,000 times; managed the work of

several hundred circuit riders and lay preachers; superintended hundreds of churches (called

societies); and built hundreds of chapels, besides doing much pastoral work and engaging in

numerous controversies.


The Abuses of Industriousness


Industriousness can be and has been abused by: (1) overdoing it, by keeping too much and too

long at but one thing; this can be overcome by varying one’s work; (2) underdoing it, which

creates leisure of an injurious sort; this can be overcome by making oneself more zealous to

work; (3) being busy in useless things; this can be cured by cultivating practicability; and (4)

attempting to do that for which one is not talented to perform; such should curb their ambition to

attempt that for which they have little or no talents, and instead seek to do that for the Lord, the

brethren and others for which they are fit. Of course, industriousness in evildoing is an abuse of

it, and should be slain by abhorrence, avoidance of and opposition to it.


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