Competent to Instruct


In his all-time classic, The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason tells the story of how Sargon the King of Babylon desired that all his citizens become wealthy. So, he invited Arkad who was the richest man in Babylon at that time to his palace and asked him if there was any secret to becoming wealthy and whether that secret could be taught. Arkad responded in the affirmative.  The King further asked if Arkad would be willing to teach what he knew about the rules of wealth to some few men who will in turn teach others. Again, Arkad answered in the affirmative.

Soon, the stage was set for him to teach a group of 100 men the secrets to becoming wealthy. Arkad began by saying he stood before them as a man in the King’s service who was asked to impart men with his knowledge because once he was a poor youth who desired gold greatly, and because he found knowledge that enabled him to acquire it and fulfill his desires.

At this point, it is necessary to state that this post isn’t about Arkad’s seven cures for a lean purse. I will recommend that you get a copy of the book to know more about that. This post is about competence as a requirement for an effective delivery of your life assignment. As I read the story of Arkad, I realized that he was not merely qualified to teach the rules of wealth because he knew what it meant to be poor and once desired to be wealthy. No doubt, this enabled him to relate empathetically with those men. But the most important factor that made him competent to instruct in the matter of how to acquire gold was that he had found knowledge that enabled him to acquire gold and had become the richest man in Babylon.

You see, you are not qualified to teach if you have never been ignorant. But this is only one of the legs upon which the chair of your competence will stand. The other leg is that you have now been taught so that you are no longer ignorant. Likewise, you are not competent to help a rape victim merely because you were raped. To be competent, you must have also gone through the complete cycle of the natural responses to such a tragic event after which you came out strong, having learnt principles that helped you and that can also help others.

This is the lesson I want you to take home from here this week: Your experiences form one of the greatest pointers to why you are here. However, your competence to do purpose is a function of more than just the fact of who you once were, but who you have become through the painful process of growth, acquisition of knowledge and skill and consistency in the generation of verifiable results. In addition, you must bear upon yourself like Arkad, the sense of responsibility as a servant in the service of our great King.

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts!

You matter to me always.


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