I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. (Romans 15:14)
Paul’s encouragement to the church in Rome is clear, easy to understand:
Goodness—Impacting others begins on the inside because it takes the integrity to consistently make good decisions. This doesn’t mean perfect, it means influencing others requires faithfulness.
Knowledge—You can’t help a person take a step forward if you don’t know what that step ought to be. The more you know, the more you can help because increased knowledge increases your potential to impact others. If you are good, but you lack knowledge, you will never be able to impart more than just the basic essentials of the faith. When you have both goodness and knowledge, people will see your wisdom through your good life.
Competence—Without skill, there can be no communication. Competence adds discernment to knowledge: It tells you what to say, when to say it, and how to say it best.
As it relates to instructing and impacting others: goodness gives you the authority, knowledge creates capacity, and competency gives you the ability to make a difference.
This teaching is simple. So simple that it seems self evident…until you think about all the crazy, broken ways we try to influence others. What is the World’s Way for making an impact? We exchange goodness for selfishness. Thoughtful knowledge is exchanged with clever catch phrases, cliches, or tweets. Rather than pursuing genuine skill and competence, we puff ourselves up to look like we are capable.
Let’s not be motivated by fear and insecurity and hunger for power. Instead lets pursue goodness and knowledge, and competence.