29 Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.
Proverbs 22:29 (NLT)
Let me start by explaining what this verse doesn’t mean. It does not mean competent workers must join the civil service. In this context, “serving king” refers to working in a more prestigious environment and much higher salary. Since the king was the richest and the most powerful man around (in those days), it made sense for job seekers to aim to join as the king’s employees. After all, he can pay the highest salaries. Therefore, it should not surprise us that every job seeker place employment with the king as their first job priority.
As a result, the king’s recruitment team must be swamped with job applications. Unless there were corruptions involved in the selection process, we can be sure that they would only employ the best in their field. In other words, the king must have the best cooks, dancers, musicians, warriors, teachers, artists, engineers, architects, managers, administrators, accountants and other professionals in his palace. The second best people would have to contend with working for ordinary people.
Let us look further on what it was like to serve the king.
First, I believe the salary must be the best. After all, the king had the unlimited power to collect taxes. He could afford to pay
Secondly, serving the king comes with prestige. Who doesn’t like to be looked up to? It will be like moving up to the next level in the socio-economic status.
Thirdly, serving the king provides greater job and income stability. Unlike those employed by ordinary people, servants of the king do not have to be concerned about recession. Unless the kingdom was mismanaged, the king’s barns should be filled with grains as reserves for the country in the event of famine. Those serving the king must be among those who were the least likely to get hungry during famine.
How can we benefit from these?
I believe many will agree that the world we live in today works the same way it was when Proverbs 22:29 was written. The only difference is we have many versions of “king” to work for. Many companies like the multi-nationals to smaller start-ups today can potentially offer us similar benefits like the king in the older days. In other words, we have many kings to choose from if we want to have good jobs.
However, God’s intention is not for us to focus on the “king”. In Proverbs 22:29, God wants us to focus on our own competence. We need to be competent if we want to have high paying jobs. God wants us to increase in our competence. Why is that so?
Just imagine. What do you think will happen if God is to promote you to a higher position in you company like being a CEO and you happen to have no competence in fulfilling your new duties? Answer: You are not going to produce any good results. You may even ended up causing the company to suffer loses and your colleagues to lose their jobs.
When that happened, the blessings of God in your life had effectively caused your colleagues to lose their jobs and their families to suffer. That is definitely not the nature of God to bless us at the expense of causing many others to suffer. God blesses us to be a blessing, not to harm others. We should always remember this criterion each time we ask for God’s blessings in our lives.
Now, does this mean that you must never ask God to promote you if you do not have the competence for the new position? The answer is no. If you really desire for the next level, ask God for it but you also do your own homework in developing yourself. Don’t be idle after you prayed for that promotion. Find out what are the skills, knowledge and qualifications that you need to have when you are in that new position. Then acquire them. You may have to commit to part-time courses, buy books to read or spend more time learning from other people.
Above all, remember to spend more time with God because he is the greatest expert in every area of expertise. Never neglect your time in reading the Bible, listening to faith messages and praying. When you do all the above, you are effectively qualifying yourself for the promotion you desire.
The time will come for the answer of your prayers will manifest. At that time, you will be able to fit right into your new role and you will have the competence to execute all your duties effectively and efficiently. If you become the CEO, you will be able to lead your company toward greater profits, thus creating more bonuses for your colleagues.
At that time the blessings of God in your life had caused many others around you to be blessed. You are blessed to be a blessing. This is the will of God in our lives. Our competence plays a part in this blessing.
In conclusion, God wants us to constantly improving our competence. Never stop learning and praying. Our God has great blessings waiting for us out there.