WEDNESDAY, JULY 17
“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings…”
Proverbs 22:29 (ESV)
OPTIMIZE MY WORK: KEEP SHARPENING MY SKILL
It is the Japanese who have created the best swords in the world. To create these fine weapons, ancient Japanese sword makers had to create a sword that was hard enough to retain a sharp edge, but at the same time soft enough not to be brittle. What Japanese sword makers learned to do was to create a sword made of hard and soft steel. Multiple sheets of hard and soft steel are heated, folded and pummeled together over and over again. Japanese swords go through a lengthy forging process until they have up to 33,000 paper-thin laminations of hard and soft metal. Each of these layers is one hundred thousandth of an inch thick. This is all done to a very precise recipe of temperature treatment. The end result is a finely crafted weapon with extreme pliability and a blade that will retain a finely honed edge.
Being “skillful” in your work is a process not that dissimilar from forging swords. It takes time and work. One definition of skillful is “very good at doing something that involves special ability or training.” When we see our abilities as special gifts from God we also realize that we should be good stewards of those gifts and training to make them even better.
There was a commercial for a television service provider that stated, if you don’t get good programs, you feel bad about yourself. When you feel bad about yourself you go to self-improvement seminars. When you go to self-improvement seminars, you feel like a winner. When you feel like a winner, you go to Vegas. When you go to Vegas, you lose everything. When you lose everything, you sell your hair to a wig company. Don’t pick the wrong television programming provider and you won’t sell your hair to a wig maker.
Proverbs isn’t about getting a better television provider or a better wig but it is about being the best version of who God made you to be. Of the 52 parables of Jesus, 45 had a workplace context. In your current workplace context what are some ways you can become better? What is stopping you from taking advantage of those opportunities? Ask God to remove anything that stands in the way of you getting sharper.