Monday, November 10, 2014

Gifted Ignorance: Part I: Overspiritualizing Your Gifts

People who are insecure with the gifts and talents that God has bestowed on them often overspiritualize their gifts. Sometimes it comes across as being a bit arrogant, overly self-assured, or prideful, but it's actually the opposite. 

A person who is insecure may even be afraid of the gift...afraid of the responsibility that comes with that gift, so they put it back on God, in case anything goes wrong. In case anyone finds out that they don't really know what they're doing and the gift gets taken away. Then they can say that God removed the gift. 

But He is the Giver of all gifts and He doesn't take them away or change His mind. (Rom 11:29)

An insecure person may realize that God has given them this gift, this talent, but they may not know what to do with it; how to develop it. They become afraid of falling into pride, so they attempt to stay humble by giving all the credit to God. This is sometimes called false humility.

Often, they tend to give God more credit than is due Him.  "Oh, it's all God. I didn't write any of it. It was all Holy Spirit inspired. It was God moving through me. It wasn't even my voice."

Guess what? It's not that good. If it were, your book would be included with Matthew's, Mark's, Luke's and John's. Your songs would be Psalms Version 2.0. Your wisdom would be Proverbs Reloaded. And your (or my) blogs might be labeled, Mary's emails to the New Jerseyans. You're not that good. And neither am I. We're human. What we do is never, "all God."

In fact, I'll go one step further and declare that it borders on insulting God to compare our measly human attempts with the Holy.

We are God's voice. But we are not God. Never God. 

He anoints us to write/sing/speak/preach/teach/evangelize/whatever...but we need to always remember that we are human. 

And because we are human, we will make mistakes. 

We are flawed. And whatever God gives us will be characterized by those flaws. If it weren't, we would be perfect.

And there is only one perfect and sinless one....Jesus Christ.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

The gifts are perfect. The Giver is perfect. The recipients are flawed.

We must always remember that everything we do is from Him, to Him and for Him. But it comes through us. We are vessels. Yes, God anoints us for service and allows us to do things we may not find ourselves capable of doing in the natural. And yes, Jesus desires us to continually draw closer to Him to hear His Holy Whispers. We can even admit our failings and our desperate need for a Savior. 

But unless we are willing to accept that we sometimes get it wrong, that we mess up, even in the middle of using those gifts and talents He has instilled in us, simply because we are human, we will never be able to truly accept and understand those gifts and talents He has equipped us with.

Several years ago, someone paid me a compliment at church after I'd played and sung a song I'd written. I was so insecure in my newly discovered talents/gifts that I proceeded to tell him what was wrong with the "performance." He looked me in the eye and said, "Just say thank you."

I never forgot that. 

You don't have to explain your shortcomings or figure out how much credit to give yourself and how much to give God. Just know that when someone compliments you, they were blessed and they are acknowledging both you and God.

Saying a simple "thank you" acknowledges the gift as well as the Giver. We don't need to complicate it.

If you are one of those who finds yourself saying things like, "It's all God." I want to challenge you to take that to the God who gave you the gifts. Ask Him if you are giving Him "too much" credit. Ask Him if you're insecure in what He's entrusted you to do, if you are dealing with false humility. And then ask Him what you need to do to become so confident in His love for you that you will become confident with your gifts and talents. A person who is secure in his or her gifts and talents understands balance.

He will not remove the gift and He will not leave you to figure it out yourself.

This is a great worship song from Clayton Brooks, worship pastor of Oaks Church in Red Oak, TX called Every Good Gift. Please give it a listen and let it soak into your soul and your spirit. (If you can't open it...for some reason, those who have my blog emailed to them can''s the link

Blessings Along the Path,


Photo credit

Sharing this post with Barbie at The Weekend Brew, Janis at Sunday Stillness, Laura at Playdates With God, Naomi at Monday Musings, Joan at Sharing His Beauty, Donna at Mondays@ Soul Survival, Holly at Testimony Tuesday


  1. Mary,
    Very interesting. I had never thought of it that way. I do know that God had a hand in the watercolours in my turtle book. I would call myself a beginner- intermediate. But the pictures turned out much better. How? I prayed over each one. I am improving as I paint more but it is a learning experience.

    Blessings and thanks for linking to Sunday Stillness,

  2. Janis, I do believe that when we pray and ask God to work in us and through us, He does. He anoints us, He helps us create that which we may not be able to do in the natural. I know that without Him, I could not have written the music I wrote. And by the way, your watercolors are gorgeous! I think it's important to acknowledge Him in our gifts, but to be careful not to give Him all the credit, to learn a healthy balance. (I hope I conveyed that in this post).

  3. For years I struggled with my gifts and not taking credit for what God gave me. I'm still quite humble about it, but I now realize that He gave them to me and I had to be willing use them to really make them effective. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ann, I'm so glad that you're recognizing that what you have to offer is important. And yes, you must be willing. I believe that the more you use the gifts He gave you, the more He will pour into your, and when you keep pouring it out, He keeps pouring it in, and it's a beautiful cycle that never ends! Let those gifts flow! It's okay to acknowledge that they belong to you (as well as God--but as the vessel, they're "yours"). Tomorrow's blog is the story behind a song I wrote several years ago-about how I lacked confidence in the gifts He gave me. I hope you can stop in and visit for that blog. I think it might bless you. Blessings, and thanks for stopping by.

  5. Mary, this is SO spot on.... I loved your comparisons between what our words/works might be compared to the Bible--"Psalms 2.0" and so on. Very creative!

  6. Thank you Jody. It's always nice to know you're on the right track! And thanks for stopping by.

  7. I like this a lot. It's good for us to say thank you, acknowledge our mistakes, and be appropriately humble!

  8. Important words about humility and how to recognize false humility. I chuckled a little at your comment that if we were that important our book would be right alongside Mark and Matthew's or the Psalms. Great way to describe it! Thank you for your post today and the advice to humbly say thank you and not make it more than it is. Blessings!