A Skilled Man

Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given.

Certain basketball players are exceptionally good and are a key reason why their team wins games. I played golf this last week and enjoy playing, but I am not a skilled player like those playing in the Masters.

I have a goal to learn a new skill each year. Some of those skills that I have learned are relatively easy to get good at, such as making soap, but with others, I am barely competent even after years of working at them, such as welding, painting a car, and golf.

All skills have a process for becoming good. First you get instruction in writing, in video, or in person from someone who is good at what you want to become skilled at. Then you practice and practice some more, and then you get some inspection of your work, and then more instruction. The harder the skill is to learn the longer this process takes.

The desire to become exceptional at a particular skill drives the practice and the seeking of the knowledge needed to become skilled beyond merely competent.

Some skills are much more important in life than others and those same skills are much more difficult to become good at. The skill of leadership is so important to the success of any multi-person endeavor, and good leaders are rare. Parenting a child so that they grow up to be a champion is a skill. Being the kind of husband that makes your wife feel like a queen is a skill. Getting along with just about any person is a skill. Teaching the Bible so that it comes alive is a skill.

All those who become increasingly more skilled at what they are presently competent in, and are constantly adding new skills to their already long list of abilities have a number of things in common. They have an insatiable desire to learn more, and it seems that the more they learn the more they want to learn. They also are never content with their present level of competency in any skill, they always want to get better and better at everything. And most importantly they are humble enough to seek out those who know more than they do and are more skilled than they are, and to learn from them eagerly.

There are so many unskilled, low-skilled, incompetent, and barely competent people in the world today and it seems the percentage is increasing. It isn’t an issue of intelligence, it is an issue of attitude. Learning begets learning; learning becomes addictive, learning is extremely powerful in building our sense of worth and value as a person, learning adds a sense of spice to life that increase enjoyment, so just make a goal to learn one new skill and see what happens.

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