My son Caleb just turned 3 years old this past week. We threw a little party for him and invited a few family members to join us. He received a few gifts and among his favorites were toy cars made in the likeness of the characters from his favorite movie “CARS” from Disney. After he opened all his toy gifts, I surprised him with a 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun so he can now go hunting with me and Josiah.
Did I say that I gave my 3 year old son a 12 gauge shotgun? Yes, I did say that. Why are you surprised? You are probably surprised because a 12 guage shotgun is not a gift to be given to a 3 year old. A 12 gauge shotgun may be a great gift, but it is absolutely too big for a 3 year old. A shotgun is a gift for an adult. It is a great gift but it simply doesn’t fit a 3 year old.
This is a metaphor of a character issue affecting many people, especially leaders, in our culture today. Many people have god-given gifts and talents, but their character is underdeveloped in comparison to the size of their gifts. Many people are great speakers, musicians, worship leaders, administrators, organizers or artists. These people are obviously gifted and it is recognized when they use their gifts, but their gift is BIGGER than they are! They easily become accustomed to “leaning” on their giftedness and forsake the emotional and spiritual maturity needed to develop their giftedness in a way that honors God. They learn to “wing it”, but over time their character flaws will result in costing them through a loss of credibility.
Dr. Tim Elmore, in his “Habitudes” series states:
Leaders are often gifted. They can begin to depend on their gift for success, to the neglect of their character. Leaders sabotage themselves when their gift is bigger than they are.
What can a leader do to grow in their character and avoid having the “oversized gift”?
- Practice spiritual disciplines. Spend time with God. Spend time in Scripture.
- Have a mentor and/or an accountability partner and give them permission to speak into your life.
- Humble yourself before God.
Read this and answer the questions that David asks in this Psalm.