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Competence: the journey to mastery

May 9, 2024

 Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.

Prov 22:29 NLT 

Today we delve into the significance of competence and its pivotal role in achieving excellence. We will also examine a few characters in the Bible who exemplified competence in their respective fields and the outcomes thereof. 


Before delving into the definition of competence, let's recap the previous devotionals in this series. As we recall, our journey towards excellence commences with honing our skills, as highlighted in our anchor text in Prov 22:29. Understanding our skillset, as demonstrated in Daniel 1:4-5, entails training based on our aptitude for quick learning and comprehension. Furthermore, we discussed the importance of diligence, emphasizing the concept of 'working your garden'—representing both your current endeavors and the labor of your hands. 


Competence is the ability to perform a task or job effectively, efficiently, and successfully. It also encompasses having the ability, capacity, and state of possessing sufficient knowledge, judgment, skill, or strength (for a specific duty or in a particular respect). Building upon the progression described earlier, one must first be skillful and diligent before being deemed competent. A competent individual can be described as an expert in a particular field who has demonstrated mastery over a specific matter or field over time. 


Just as in the medical profession, acquiring skills necessitates undergoing medical school and subsequently being diligent in that field before attaining the privilege to perform brain surgery. Years of training and demonstrated competence are prerequisites before undertaking such a delicate procedure. This same principle applies to every aspect of life. The objective should be to achieve competence in all our endeavors. 


Considering Joseph, he commenced with just dreaming (skills), and without proper training, encountered numerous troubles with his brothers. However, he persisted, continuing to dream even while in prison (demonstrating diligence) until he not only mastered the skill but also developed the capacity to interpret dreams. When he stood before Pharaoh, what he needed was not merely skills but rather competence and mastery over dream interpretation. 


As you read this, when the King is seeking someone to execute a task, can it be said of you—this is the expert in that skill or job? For you, all that is required is to ascend to the level of mastery in what you do and observe how the rewards flow effortlessly—as seen in Gen 41:39-41. Your devotion and diligence serve as proof of your passion. 


In Nehemiah 2:11-18, Nehemiah demonstrated competence in leadership and organization by overseeing the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls. Despite encountering opposition and challenges, Nehemiah's skillful planning and ability to motivate others facilitated the successful completion of the project. 


Competence requires time and mastery in a specific subject matter or field. It's not about constantly switching professions; rather, it's about excelling where you are placed. Your current position can become your place of fulfillment, akin to Eden—the place of rest. If you choose teaching, aim not just to be a teacher, but to be the teacher. Similarly, in other professions, strive to become an expert in your sector. As you showcase competence, you'll progress beyond your peers and be recognized for your excellence. 


So, how can you discern if you're on the pathway to excellence? 


Increase in Scope (Responsibility and Authority): Joseph transitioned from being a mere dreamer to shouldering the responsibility of preserving a nation against famine. In Genesis 41:33-35, his mastery earned him a promotion to Prime Minister of Egypt. Embrace expanded responsibilities as indicators of forthcoming rewards. 


Decrease in Supervision: As you excel, you'll gain autonomy and trust in your work. Genesis 39:6a illustrates how Joseph was entrusted with authority, indicating the trust earned through consistent excellence. 


Increase in Favor: Excelling in your expertise will make you preferred in related matters. In John 7:44-46, Jesus couldn't be arrested due to the spirit of excellence upon Him. 


Longevity: Continued pursuit of excellence ensures your indispensability. Daniel served four different kings, all recognizing his wisdom and value (Daniel 1:21). 


Access to the Holy Spirit: This represents the highest level of excellence. The Holy Spirit provides solutions beyond human comprehension. Joseph, aided by the Spirit of God, surpassed experienced magicians and wise men (Genesis 41:16). 


In conclusion, competence is integral to achieving excellence. By nurturing your skills, demonstrating diligence, and striving for mastery, you pave the way for unparalleled success. 

Song of Worship  

Lord have mercy  

Christ have mercy  

Lord have mercy on me 


Song by Michael W. Smith ft. Amy Grant 

Prayer - Lord, I come before you today, acknowledging Your sovereignty over all things. Humbly, I seek Your blessings upon my journey towards excellence. Grant me the grace to cultivate the spirit of excellence in all my endeavors. Father, please equip me with the skills and abilities necessary to excel in my field. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.   



Bible in 1 year: 2 Kings 10-12; John 1


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