“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
At first glance this scripture could come across as the poster child for culture.
“Don’t take a backseat to anyone” sounds more like a rally cry for the VMA’s than it does foundational living for the Christ-centered.
Culture places a lot of pressure on skills. Be the fastest, be the smartest, be the richest, be the coolest, be the most creative and be the most inventive. It’s all about what you have to offer so you’re high in demand. Then we silly humans place a lot of pressure on ourselves to meet this demand: music, sports, top grades, higher education, second languages, work, work and more work. Dreams, of course, don’t work unless you do. Or so they say.
Something happens when we surrender this verse on the altar of success. God burns away the chaff. And in burning away the chaff, all the lies, the pressure and the comparison burn up right along with it.
“Work” becomes learning.
“Skilled” becomes teachable.
“Workers” becomes learners.
“Demand” becomes sought out.
“Admired” becomes respected.
“To anyone” becomes for anything.
Suddenly life is not about what we have to give – all the striving, accomplishing and achieving. Rather, life is about what we have to receive: by surrendering, through listening and in humility. Why? Because life is about what HE gives: wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 22:29 takes on a whole new meaning when read through a filter of teachability.
“Observe people who are good at learning—teachable learners are always sought out and respected; they don’t take a backseat for anything.”
But whatever you do, don’t take a backseat to learning.