Understanding Essential Life Skills
While scanning the September 25th issue of the Cabarrus News, I noticed an article concerning essential life skills. At first glance I passed it over. Any man who can make it to 61 years old without gaining some concept of the essential skills necessary for work and life already has more grace than they can use.
But then curiosity snatched at me and I turned back to read the article. I was expecting to get a list of the essential skills necessary for obtaining and retaining a job. Surprise on me. This article turned out to be a discussion of a British survey on opinions and what people consider skills that are essential. The author, Erica Batten, revealed a most interesting set of conclusions.
British Survey on Essential Skills
Backtracking to find the original list took a bit of research. I found a trace of it at Mail Online, an interesting news site that deals with U.K. and U.S. showbiz, health, science and a host of other “important” matters. According to the report, the British consider essential skills things that pertain to:
- Online banking – #4
- Microwave operation – #16
- WiFi connections – #3
- And Using Google – Make your guess.
Basics of the Essential Life Skills Survey
The British survey requested a skills priority list from 2000 plus adults. Twenty top points of knowledge were recorded as the skills essential to modern living. A second list included twenty top points of knowledge no longer essential to daily life. I suppose that most people aren’t surprised to learn that Goggling ranks number one in the list of supposed essential skills. Other listed points of essential knowledge include:
- Number 2 – Operating a mobile phone
- Number 6 – Knowing how to turn water off at the mains
- Number 10 – Using self-service checkout
- Number 14 – Navigating via Sat-Nav
- Number 19 – Using Facebook
- Number 20 – Changing settings on a thermostat.
In the Cararrus News article, Erica Batten took notice to the fact that most of these skills involve disconnecting from other human beings. She also expressed concern that many of the so-called essential skills were brand-specific, making mention of brands such as Facebook, iTunes, Skype and Bluetooth. Erica expressed worry and fear over the modern concept of skills that are essential.
But you know what she never mentioned: Any essential skills pertaining to God.
Forgetting Jesus Leaves One With A Wrong View of Essential Life Skills
The survey also included a list of skills no longer essential for daily knowledge. Many of the points of this list involved social relations. For example:
- Writing postcards, number 6 on the non-essential list, is no longer a valued skill
- Knowing phone numbers of friends, number 8, is no longer an essential skill
- Dinner party etiquette, number 11, is also considered a wasted bit of knowledge
- Writing letters, number 12, seems to have no value to modern British citizens.
Yet even when reviewing the list of so-called unnecessary skills, we see no mention of God. Have people so complete forgotten our purpose on this Earth. Is God so far from our minds and our hearts as to be insignificant to either side of a list of essential life skills? Have we forgotten the value of prayer, earnest living, keeping our word, loving and caring for one another?
Darning and Knitting fill the top two points of non-essential life skills. Putting up a tent hits number five on the list and being able to change a tire barely slips in as number eighteen in the list of useless skills. Yet those who serve the will and purpose of Jesus Christ should understand that working with your hands is critical to Christian living. Maybe triple A insurance coverage will take care of changing your flat tires, but isn’t there something about doing such work that helps a Christian grow nearer to God?
The Real Skills Essential to Daily Life, All Life and Eternal Life
I think there is. A list of essential skills that fail to consider hard work miss the point of life. Now I could run on and on with this topic, but I’m going to stop with a brief list of personal perceived Christian essential life skills. Add and expand as you see fit.
- Listen and obey the Spirit of God
- Pray with focus, purpose and expectation
- Love everyone, even your enemies and then prove it with your actions
- Honor God’s word and honor your own words
- Work with your hands and mind
- Walk a life that is worthy of having someone want to follow in your footsteps.