Energy vs. Know-how


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Matthew 26:41 (KJV): “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

COMMENTARY:  In management, and especially in the field of HR training and development, there is a professional discussion that goes something like this: “Which is most important, employee energy or employee know-how?” (I just finished a book on the history of U-Haul, and the founder brought this up all the time.) Of course, both are important, but if you had to prioritize, which would come first? 

Diverse opinions exist, but to me, the pendulum swings in the direction of employee energy. Why? Because if employees have the energy, they’ll be motivated to develop the know-how. If they already have the know-how, they’ll have the energy to apply it, gain more know-how, and continuously grow in their expertise. 

By contrast, if employees have the know-how (whether through God-given talent, formal education and training, and/or work experience) but they don’t have the energy, they won’t apply what they know, and they won’t be motivated to seek more knowledge and grow professionally.    

APPLICATION: Today, how would you rate yourself on the energy scale? Are you maintaining a high level of enthusiasm and motivation, or are you coasting? Have you lost your zeal? Are you just “putting in your time” until you can find another job or retire? 

Maybe inside, your spirit is willing, but you lack the mental, physical, emotional and/or spiritual energy. I’d be happy to send you a free PDF copy of a simple one-page flyer, “Enthusiasm makes a BIG Difference.” The content is Scriptural and timeless. Does anyone have the energy to ask for it?  

Joyfully yours,


Enthusiasm makes a BIG difference!

Commentary and compilation by Drew Crandall, based on the writings of the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale

There are various definitions of enthusiasm: passionate admiration or interest; religious emotion extravagantly manifested; God in you, full of God, fullness of joy.

Key Scripture text: “Render service with enthusiasm, as unto the Lord and not to men and women.” (Ephesians 6:7)

Key elements of enthusiasm are heat, intelligence, and motivation (2 Tim 1:7). Enthusiasm is a kind of faith that has been set afire under the control of the Holy Spirit. Enthusiasm also breeds faith, which in turn stimulates a sharp awareness of life, a consuming interest in living, and ACTION!

Under the control of the Holy Spirit, enthusiasm creates and builds. It is “relaxed power,” full of drive but lacking tension. Uncontrolled enthusiasm dominates the person and causes him/her to be over-heated, overconfident, and full of uncontrolled anticipation, which leads to a running away from judgement and reason. Uncontrolled enthusiasm leads to unreasonableness, an attempt at too much too fast, loud talking, high pressure, and in the end defeat and frustration. It eventually washes out because it is overpressed.

The alternative problem is a lack or low supply of enthusiasm, which leads to cooling and apathy. Apathy makes jobs more difficult, tiresome, and tense. Common “coolants” in any organization are so-called sophisticates, intellectuals, wealthy cynics and critics. (Sounds like the chief priest, scribes, Pharisees in Matt 23:13-34!)

To ignite and keep enthusiasm, you need to “mentally ventilate” at the start of each day, to cleanse your mind of discouragement, gloom, hate, prejudice, resentment, dissatisfaction, and worry (Phil. 4:6- 9). The word worry means “to choke or strangle” one’s personality.

Once you’ve mentally ventilated, the next step is to undergo a high degree of “combustion of the mind.” This happens when you’re aroused by (a) an ideal that takes your imagination by storm, (b) a definite plan for carrying that ideal into “real world” practice that’s broken down into little goals, and (c) initiative to then do it!

Specific everyday benefits of enthusiasm: (a) joy; (b) motivation; (c) cancellation of fear and worry; (d) new perspective on “problems.” They now become fun, because each problem has a soft spot and carries with it the seeds of its own solution! God wants us to be creative problem-solvers!

For Further Exploration

For further exploration about Colossians 4:17 (KJV), read Of Slaves and Masters, Ancient and Contemporary (Colossians 3:18–4:1) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.