Professionally speaking, do you want to get better, or just be paid better? (Of course everyone wants to be paid better.)
As a husband and father of three Catholic school students, I know I do. We all have a list of needs that a few extra bucks could be put towards. But are you hoping someday that will just come your way or are you planning and working for it? There’s a big difference and it’s a question that should be addressed.
Money is often a by-product of success and growth, but what are we doing about the growth that could lead to our success? This article echoes the message from Day 2 of my 30-day devotional for the Catholic professional, Catholics Mean Business. It was inspired by a verse I came across in the book of Proverbs:
You see a man skilled in his work? He shall stand in the presence of kings; he will not stand in the presence of obscure men. – Proverbs 22:29
It is said that repetition is the mother of skill. Do you practice your business? This Proverb was the first verse I read in a gift book received back in 1994, as a college graduation present from my Godmother. The little book was made of card stock and listed Scripture quotes that directly pertained to business, one on each page. I read it countless times and kept it on my desk for years. It was a catalyst to my professional approach, a fire starter. I’m certain she never realized when she picked it up what an impact it would have on me.
Over the years I have looked this verse up in a variety of bibles. Other translations of this verse substitute the word “diligent” for “skilled” and the phrase “substantial men” for the word “kings.” Substantial men, kings, rulers, decision makers. You want to influence them? Do you want to travel in their circles and have them seek your counsel?
The recipe is simple. Practice. Hone your skills. Be diligent. Find one thing, the very next thing you can do, to become better at your job.
The Catechism teaches that this world, and all of us, are “journeying” to our final destination, and there is an “ultimate perfection yet to be attained” (paragraph 302). Things are not finished. We are not finished. We get to have a hand in finishing what God started when we were created.
Manage your career, not just your year. Look beyond your present station. Love persistence. Never quit. This verse is not just a proverb, it is a prediction. It is a glimpse of what could be, what we are intended to be.
It is easy to float along with the current, and just navigating the rapids of life can exhaust us even when we are at our best. However, I encourage you to remember that we were not made for floating, we were made for swimming!
The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness. – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI