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In “The Tortoise and the Hare,” the turtle didn’t rely on natural gifts or talents. He won because he committed himself to making steady progress over time. The rabbit was faster, but the turtle was diligent—and his diligence paid off!
Dave’s new book, The Legacy Journey, which released October 21, reminds us that diligence still works today. In fact, it can change your family’s tree for generations to come. In addition to covering issues like family legacy, generosity, and how God wants you to use His blessings for His glory, The Legacy Journey also emphasizes the foundation of diligence.
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So, what’s diligence look like? Dave shares a great story to illustrate the power of steady progress over time in this excerpt from The Legacy Journey.
Here’s the problem: God’s ways of handling money actually work. If you do the things I teach from God’s Word, if you are diligent and wise with your income, then over time you will become wealthy. No matter who you are or where you’re starting from, you will at some point become one of those “rich people.” I’ve seen it more times than I can count.
I was doing a book signing a while back and saw a guy in coveralls standing at the end of the line. Where I’m from, coveralls mean you do real work. You do the kind of work that’s hard and dirty, so you put on the coveralls to keep your real clothes from getting ruined. This man waited patiently, but I could tell he was the kind of guy who didn’t really like to stand around waiting. He had a head full of bushy gray hair and a matching gray beard. He looked tired too; it was easy to tell that he’d been on his feet all day. When he finally got to the book-signing table, I noticed that he didn’t have a book in his hand. He was just holding a little scrap of paper.
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He said, “Dave, I’m not here to buy your book.” I thought, Well, why would you want to stand in line for an hour just to tell me you didn’t want to buy my book? He continued, “I just want to tell you that I started listening to you on the radio ten years ago. I heard all those things you said about the Scriptures and I went and looked them up for myself, and I started living that way. And I gotta tell you, the stuff you teach on the radio works.” Then he put that scrap of paper down on the table in front of me. There were two numbers written on it: -$66,283 and $847,623. I looked back up at him and saw this strong, burly workman with big tears in his eyes. He said, “The first number is where I started thirteen years ago, and the second number is where I am now. I started with a negative net worth and $66,283 in debt, and today I am debt-free with $847,623 in mutual funds. This stuff works, Dave.”
That conversation meant so much to me that I kept that little scrap of paper. If you were to come visit me in my office, you’d see it in a frame on my bookshelf. I love it because it doesn’t just represent a financial turnaround; it represents a total change of direction for an entire family. This guy’s family going back several generations had never seen that much money before, but there it was. And because he taught his kids how to handle money, it would be there for them. And as it grew over time and his kids added to it, it would be there for his grandkids. This one man applying God’s ways of handling money—even with a modest income—had completely changed his family legacy. And that’s the “problem” with handling money God’s ways: You end up wealthy. So let’s talk about that.