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Devotional for 07/30/2014

Learning Skills

 
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
- 2 Timothy 2:15
 
 

Learning a new lesson usually takes hard work, and sometimes we may think the effort too much or unnecessary. When I was in high school, before the days of computers, we had a typing class with manual (non-electric) typewriters. We had to sit at attention with our hands poised over the keys in the proper position. Then the teacher would play the record of an opera called “The Toreador,” and we would start to practice using the correct fingers for each letter combination, keeping with the beat of the music.

Using the right fingers was not an option; it was a requirement. In fact, our teacher roved the room with a ruler in her hand, checking for the use of “wrong” fingers. A sharp smack with the ruler was our punishment if we did not type correctly. At the time, it seemed slightly harsh, but at least I was very careful to use the proper fingers! As a result, I learned to type correctly, and then progressed to typing faster and faster.

I used this skill for a number of years working in an office, earning my living, so the training was not in vain. And even though I learned it decades ago, this skill remains useful to me to this day when I use my computer.

God wants us to develop skills so we can be useful to Him and His work. Our focus verse, which says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God,” may not only refer to reading the Bible. The word “study” actually means “give diligence to.” A violinist, for example, puts in long hours of diligent practice before he can play melodically. With effort, that violinist can bring glory to the Lord through music and be an inspiration to others. Studying the current events of the world also takes a time commitment, but it can be of benefit to us when we witness to others about Christ. Each of us can do something for the Lord, and we can do it well for His glory if we exercise diligence.

God certainly does not need our refined skills to accomplish His will, but if He gives us the opportunity to develop a particular ability, then we want to be sure to do our best for Him. Not caring if we “use the wrong fingers” in our service to the Lord will result in a sloppy Christian life and may cause us to lose the trust and respect of others, or even our Christian experience. We are each given instructions from God, and we will be most successful if we follow them explicitly.

Are we “studying” today?

     

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