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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Competence

Last night we began a 10 week Dads Teach the Bible workshop.  The men who come to these come with varying levels of experience in Bible study.  I push them hard.  I ask them to do things that they have never done before in Bible study.  It is hard.  I recognize that.  But in each case thus far they have walked away with a better understanding and tool set for understanding the Word.

In the introduction I use a quote and example of how we gain competence.
What does it take to become really good at something?  Thoughts at DTTB.
The quote…
What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence. – Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)
The example…
Do you remember the first time you drove down a two lane road into oncoming traffic at 55 MPH?  You have at least a 110 MPH closure rate with the oncoming traffic.  You are not sure if the dude in the other lane is going to stay there.  At your skill level you aren’t real sure you are going to stay in yours.  If you were like me there was a fine sheen of sweat on your palms and your stomach was a bit tight.

Now on that same road you are probably 5 over.  You are drinking coffee and talking on the phone while driving the car with your knee as you change the radio…  What is the difference?  You have done it thousands of times.  You do not even think about what you are doing anymore; it has become automatic.

The application…
Every new thing we do, either physically or mentally, follows that same pattern.  When we first start we have to think about what we are doing.  If we stick with it, at some point, it becomes part of our muscle and brain memory.  It becomes automatic.  Another way to put this is we have to be bad at something before we are good at it.

Competence in anything your career, your hobbies, whatever – including Bible study, is not automatic.  As Johnson said above, to get there we have to apply diligence over time.

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