Persevere in virtue and diligence. ~Plautus

There are fifteen minutes between Bible study and worship time at our church. We hug and kiss, catch up on news, smile at children, visit the restroom, and find a seat. It’s loud and sometimes chaotic.

The Sunday before Christmas can be especially busy as excited children skip down the aisle to their parents.

This past Christmas season was no different.

As we began the first song a strange odor caught my attention. I wasn’t the only one.

People started looking around, trying to keep their eyes on the words of the hymn, but there was definitely something amiss.

After the second song, my husband stood up for announcements.

“Yes, you smell smoke. There was a fire in the kitchen, but I put it out.”

While we were visiting and laughing, the room next door was on fire. Smoke and flames raced across the stove and up the wall.

Thankfully, Matt saw it in time and grabbed an extinguisher.

Matt was diligent. He was watching, and he was prepared.

Do you know what your children are seeing on the internet? Are you diligent to check their history, their chat rooms, their pants’ pockets? Is your nose in the air when they pass by with their friends and their phones?

Are you watching over your elderly neighbor? Do you notice when the garbage can doesn’t make it to the curb or the newspaper goes untouched in the driveway?

What about on the job? Has a coworker been asking questions about your marriage and how you cope with expectations and falling out of love? Do you have an answer ready, a prayer to offer?

Be diligent to watch for fires in your life.

And be prepared to fight them.

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:13-17 ESV

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