Is Competence Christian?
Most of us immediately recognize that the answer, of course, is yes. But there is no shortage of overspiritualizers out there today who like to rain on the parade of common grace, and sometimes (strangely enough) the quest for competence can be wrongly labeled as idolatry.
Hence, it is important — not to mention interesting — to see the biblical foundation behind truths that are very clear simply from the light of nature alone. Competence is one of them.
One of the most fascinating passages here is Proverbs 2:2-4, where competence is said to be a component of wisdom, and we are exhorted to seek it diligently.
You don’t see this directly in many translations, because they tend to translate the term for “competence” here simply as “understanding” (and, obviously, there’s a relationship). But Tremper Longman brings this out most clearly in his more precise translation of the passage in his commentary on Proverbs:
My son, if you grasp my speech and store up my commands within you, bending your ear toward wisdom, extending your heart toward competence — indeed, if you call out for understanding, shout for competence, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure…
So, to everyone who has an innate desire to do good work and be effective at what you do: be encouraged. This desire is not unspiritual, but is a reflection of the image of God in you. It is a very spiritual thing to be competent; indeed, God exhorts us to it.