God has not called me to play professional basketball. This might be obvious to you, as it should be. I’m hardly tall enough to be a basketball player. My genetics don’t lend themselves very well to me having a fighting chance in the NBA. I have a wimpy vertical leap. And while I may brag about my jump shot, I’m not very agile and have mediocre ball-handling skills. Professional basketball is not in the cards when it comes to my calling. God has not given me the skills to be a professional basketball player and no amount of hope, dreams, or commitment is going to get me there. I enjoy playing basketball, but my skills are limited.
In Proverbs 22:29 it says:
“Do you see a man skillful in his work, he will stand before kings, he will not stand before obscure men.”
Skills are central to the work we do. No matter what work you do - in your career, in your volunteering, in your family - God has given you skills so that you can use those in the work that you do. He has given you skills to use in your family, skills to use in your job, and skills to use in your church. And these skills are likely a combination of skills that have been wired in you from birth and skills that have been honed and refined through experience and hard work.
So… is there a uniquely Christian way to use these skills?
Do your work skillfully.
The writer, Dorothy L. Sayers said, “The church’s approach to intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours and to come to church on Sundays. What the church should be telling him is this: That the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables."
When talking about the work that God has called us to do, it is easy to begin thinking of ways to spiritualize our work. We think that the Christian carpenter should make Christian tables. The Christian designer makes Christian posters. And the Christian filmmaker makes mediocre Christian movies. But being a Christian doesn’t mean doing “Christian” work, it simply means as a Christian, you should be doing your work skillfully. You work hard using the skills that God has given you to serve those around you. If you are a carpenter, make good tables. If you are a mother, raise your children well. If you are a graphic designer, make great graphics. If you own a business, run your business well. If you are an artist, make good art.
Where in your life do you feel like you get to do work skillfully?