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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Principle 5: Choose to Serve Wisely

Skill is defined as the ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, and aptitude, to do something well - even to the point of excelling.  Some might say this individual possesses a sense of confidence as they perform their tasks - ability revealed in complete dexterity to perform the functions required.  Others might say this individual consistently exceeds expectations - not just that they "meet" them, but that they go above and beyond what the typical worker might accomplish with the same amount of effort.  Sometimes skill is a learned thing - at others, it is like an innate aptitude to "just do it". I always marvel at those who possess a skill without much effort - there aptitude revealing their ability repeatedly and with consistency.  To coin a phrase, maybe they are born with it.  Others have to work quite hard to develop the same level of skill that the individual with "innate aptitude" just seems to slip right into.  The skilled worker, regardless of their skill being learned or "innate", is in high demand - because they can be counted on to perform at a consistent level of "output".  As scripture puts it, "they will serve before kings" - because the best of talent rises to the top, doesn't it?

Observe people who are good at their work—skilled workers are always in demand and admired; they don’t take a backseat to anyone.  (Proverbs 22:29 MSG)

We need to take notice of those who possess "skill" for the work they are called to perform - for we can learn much from their "performance" if we will just begin to see it through eyes willing to learn from what we observe.  Did you know that the original meaning of "skill" was actually one who exhibited understanding or discernment?  This might just help us to put our passage into context a little.  When we are observing someone who has "understanding" of a task at hand, we are able to see how they process the "pieces" of the task and handle them with such ease.  In learning from their "understanding" of the task - the things they discern about the phases of that task - we can learn to undertake similar tasks, as well.

Do you desire to serve before kings?  Or perhaps one "King" in particular (namely God himself)?  There is an opportunity to serve afforded to each of us, but we need to develop our understanding and discernment of the tasks ahead of us.  As we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we want to keep in mind his overriding authority in our lives - but we don't serve just because we "have" to, but because it is an honor to use our skill for his glory. The "reason" for their service is not to bring glory to themselves, but to give all glory to the one who gave them the ability to perform these tasks in the first place.

We choose to serve in various manners throughout life - some will utilize our skill set to the maximum, while other areas of service will only skim the surface of all we are capable of performing as a child of God.  Where we choose to serve makes a huge difference.  I have been in positions in my life of serving a wide variety of individuals - utilizing my "understanding" and "discernment" sometimes to the fullest, but not consistently.  It is a tremendous thing to be in a position to use what God has given you to the fullest ability each and every day.  

It always makes me think when I come across an individual who says they have "no skill" or "aptitude" for anything - maybe they call it not having any "talent".  This just is not possible because each of us is created with an aptitude of some sort, we often just haven't tapped into it yet!  We need to ask God to reveal to us what it is we have a "bent" toward - this is often the beginning of the revelation of what our "skill set" might just be.  If we want to serve and serve well, we need to know what "skills" we can best bring to the table, don't we?  God's word reminds us we "have not because we ask not".  We lack wisdom of our aptitude because we don't ask him to reveal it to us.  When we finally ask, he is faithful to reveal.  Just sayin!