Experience Can Lead to Laziness

March 12, 2015

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The longer we do something, the less work we have to put in to maintain our desired level.

This can be both a blessing and a curse.

The blessing is that as our skill level increases as the effort and time decreases. It takes me far less time to prepare for teachings when compared with a few years ago.

There is value to filling the storehouse of our minds and hearts over the years in order to draw on resources when needed.

Malcolm Gladwell famously expressed this in his 10,000 hour principle.

But being an “expert” on something carries with it a danger.

We run the risk of growing complacent or lazy.

We’ve all seen the athletes who work hard to make it, only to sign the big contract and follow it with a big waistline! Practice and teamwork has gone from essential to optional.

I was reminded of this in the last few days. I’ve been teaching the books of 1 and 2 Samuel in our Bible school. Our interns have been required to evaluate me.

As I saw my class through the eyes of these younger and less experienced staff, I had a choice to make in regards to their feedback. I could blow it off or I could embrace it.

I found it so refreshing to reminded of ways I could improve as a teacher, even after 20 years.

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One of my challenges in recent months has me saying, “I do not want to peak.”

I want to continue to explore new heights, take risks, and not act as if I have arrived in my 40’s. I have decades more to learn, grow, and improve as a communicator.

Experience can make us lazy. Experience can make ME lazy.

Or it can serve to motivate us that we do not have it all together.

I don’t want to peak as a communicator in my 40’s.

We all must continue to put in the work to develop our leadership, our ministry, and our parenting.

Yes, we’ve learned and achieved a lot.

But the humility which accompanies the gospel is one which keeps us in a place of dependence (a healthy one). We recognize our brokeness and need for One greater than ourselves to lead and guide us.

Laziness in the name of experience may well be a trap to keep us in mediocrity.

I want to peak the day I die and not a moment before.

Photo credit: 114/365 ... via photopin (license)

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God

2 responses to Experience Can Lead to Laziness

  1. Amen Chris. I’ve seen this, and been someone who has experienced, this many times. That darn comfortableness that hits us with experience.

  2. This is something every teachers should read. I’ve had instructors that had so much knowledge you wanted to access, but they had made themselves into a textbook and you couldn’t get anything fresh or exciting from them. And you can tell when that is the case by the way they teach. Feedback is so valuable. I don’t know why teachers fear it. It is necessary as you grow and shape your class. I love immediate feedback. Almost every class feedback. Mid-term feedback. And the summary feedback. All are excellent tools. Good for you being open.