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Two Circles and a Skill-Set

February 20th, 2009

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings.” Proverbs 22:29 NIV

“In things you enjoy doing and do well, you will discover your skill-set.”

My thoughts today are about “two circles and a skill-set.”

Well, this whole week my devotional thoughts and comments have been about work; aren’t you glad it is time for the weekend? But let’s explore one more aspect of what will involve so much of your lifetime. Work is holy, you know. God gave Adam responsibilities in the Garden at the very beginning. See Genesis 2:15. And in God’s top ten list, He established the important cycle of work and rest when He commanded, Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath.” See Genesis 1:31-2:3/Exodus 20:9-11 NIV.

Let’s talk about an important aspect of work, as relates to your being productive and feeling fulfilled. Everything that you do can be divided into two areas: things you enjoy doing, and things you do well. Would you take a piece of paper and draw two large circles with the second partially overlapping the first? In the one circle, write: things I enjoy doing. In the other, write: things I do well. You can probably list a lot more things in the first circle than the second, but the things in both circles are important to enjoying a well-rounded and fruitful life.

Where your circles overlap – the fewer number of things you both enjoy doing and do well!that’s where your skill-set will be found, and with it will come your greatest success and lasting satisfaction. Too many people spend much of their life doing only what they enjoy, but not succeeding because they never learn the skills to do that well. They fail to develop or acquire the essential skills. They accept mediocrity as the price for fun. Others misapply themselves to things they do very well and prosper doing so, but without enjoying what they spend their lives doing. You are spending your life; so spend it well, where you will receive the greatest joy and reward.

Your skill-set describes the combination of skills and abilities that you possess, unique to you. Your skill-set is the product of your natural gifting, your interests and inclinations, your personality and temperament, your education and training, your life and work experience, and your dedicated effort to further develop and apply those skills – all of those, most effective and productive when recognized as sourced in God, empowered by His Spirit, and used in His service to others.

But know this clearly, the best of your talents and efforts will fall short of true and full success and satisfaction without those final elements – For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To Him be glory evermore. Amen.” Romans 11:36 NLT.

Skill is a most important part of the equation for your success. There are elements about your success that you rarely control or can change, but skill is something completely in your hands. It depends primarily upon your willingness and single-mindedness to give the necessary time, sacrifice, and maximum effort to apply yourself to recognizing your skills, continually perfecting them, and finding the best ways and places to apply them.

“Show me a man who does a good job, and I will show you a man who is better than most and worthy of the company of kings.” Proverbs 22:29 TEV. Skill is the essential for doing a good job; it is not luck, or being in the right place, or knowing the right people; it is your skill, with God’s blessing.

My prayer for you today is to have the success only God can give, and joy for a lifetime.

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