(Proverbs 22:29 KJV) Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Where the NASB has “skilled” (4106) the KJV has “diligent.” Which is it? What is the difference?
To me the difference is that one is achievable by all, one is for the few.
I can be diligent even when I have no skill. I can be diligent when I don’t have any hope of excelling. This summer my daughter had me a list of things to do when we visited. We have an understanding. I agree to give it my best shot. She agrees not to be too critical. You see, I have a hard time cutting a board straight. I can measure carefully, multiple times. I can use a square to draw a line. I can think it over and contemplate the task. The problem is that eventually I am forced to pick up the saw and start cutting. The results are in God’s hands. Diligence makes it better but my hands won’t cooperate.
So I prefer diligent to skilled.
I like Adam Clarke’s paraphrase, “Every diligent, active man, shall be at once independent and respectable.”
So? Do your best. One of God’s specialties is straightening out the short boards of our lives.