"Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men." (Proverbs 22:29, ESV)
Who is your hero? Who do you admire? The man described in this proverb is my hero. I want to be like him.
The thing about this man is that rather than exclusively concentrate on building his networks and connections, he builds his skills. As the years pass by, he is no one-hit-wonder, no temporary YouTube sensation. Instead, his skills speak for themselves. Dude has game. He has a craft, a job, an enterprise, and his ability to perform it is strong.
One of the major temptations of the flesh is “the pride of life,” the temptation to be someone or something (1 John 2:16). When succumbing to this temptation, people care little about actually having the skills but care much about being known. They want to stand before kings, but without the substance to get them there in the first place. But this man has not fallen to that temptation. In the quiet hours of the morning and night, he builds his skill. He is a sharp blade, effective in his work due to years of quiet preparation.
Let us be a people of substance and skill. I know every business needs to advertise, for skills must be presented before they will be utilized, but let's make sure our product or ability outperforms our advertising. Let’s prepare our skills more than our promises, making us able to back up our words. Let us not profess without making progress in the work of our hands. Concentrate on that skill, whatever it may be. Do not let it erode, but instead grow it, with time. If you do, you’ll stand where you dreamed.