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The Problem with Both Talent and Charisma

Mr. CharismaTalent and charisma aren’t bad. They’re good. They’re gifts. In the Bible, Joseph and Daniel are two striking examples of both attributes and how God uses them to put us in places of expanding influence. The problem, however, with both talent and charisma is that they expand our influence whether our character is ready for it or not.

Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.

~ [youversion]1 Timothy 4:16 NLT[/youversion]

Joseph and Daniel were prepared, even through adversity, for the platforms to which God led them. Other leaders have not been so well-prepared.

Last night I learned of the moral failure of another brother in ministry. I immediately felt feelings of anger. A range of thoughts go through my mind when I hear such stories…

  • This didn’t have to happen! What a waste!
  • Those poor, innocent and unknowing spouses!
  • The children caught in the crossfire!
  • The church now dealing with the aftermath of a scandal!
  • The reproach upon the kingdom!
  • The ammunition we give to the naysayers!

At the end of the day, such stories should drive us to our knees in both repentance and in prayer for protection and purity. Satan is on the prowl and wants to devour everyone he possibly can, especially those who have talent, charisma, and the influence they purchase.

The problem with talent and charisma isn’t that they are negative attributes. It’s that they can create a stage presence for which we aren’t ready spiritually. They fall short without character and integrity.

So if you’re talented… if you’re charismatic… if your audience is growing, heed this: You need more! You need deep roots in the form of a solid and growing relationship with God, a sincere humility, transparent accountability, safeguards to protect you and your loved ones, and a determination to be a person of integrity.

The word integrity comes from the same root as the mathematical term integer, which is a whole number, not a fraction. In other words, integrity means being one, undivided individual. Integrity excludes double-living.

The problem with talent and charisma is that they fool us into thinking we’re important and invincible. So make sure you have the character to withstand the pressure that talent and charisma bring. 

photo source: chungeez

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  1. So true, Brandon. Great thoughts. I had never truly understood the importance of accountability until recently. It had been missing in my life, and sadly, I think that’s the case with most people in the ministry.

    • Josh, you’re spot on. Along with accountability is access. My wife has access to everything in my world – email, social networking etc. She may or may not choose to glance through things, but if she does, life needs to be an open book. Secretiveness grants big power to destructive things.

  2. Grace Houle says:

    love how you laid out the truth of God’s word. Accountability helps keep us humble and puts to the forefront of our mind, that no one is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

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