Every January, a new season of American Idol begins. And each season, I eagerly anticipate an evening full of jaw-dropping moments as ridiculously talented people step into the national spotlight for five months of musical entertainment. On the other side of the coin, however, I often sit in amazement as I watch those who drip with passion yet fall flat in talent, no pun intended. What strikes me is how assured those contestants are of their “calling” and “talent” despite the glaringly obvious lack of actual talent. And as a result, the stress and strain of striving to overtly prove themselves is emotionally crippling. With the vigor of a seasoned defense attorney, they exclaim, “They don’t know what they’re missing! Just wait! This is my calling! I was born for this!”
Kind of like life off-screen.
“This is my calling!” It’s the same passion-filled plea I’ve heard in pastoring and leading artists within local church worship teams. Somehow in the church, though, we’ve created a gaping hole of grey area where people push the “God card” as a means to propagate and defend their desired public platform.
And respectfully, that has to stop.
Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” Put simply, your gift opens doors for you. But it’s your character that keeps you there. What I’ve discovered over the years, however, is that we all are tempted to place too much of our personal worth upon our gifting and build an identity upon our talents alone instead of our values, character, and identity in Christ.
You see, a person lacking a healthy identity will always be seeking approval and attempting to prove himself/herself to others in an overt and insecure manner because he/she has no deep-seated worth, value, or substance aside from their talent from which to draw authenticity and contribution to the world around them. In one respect, that lack of identity causes major anxiety. On the other hand, the behavior lends itself toward inappropriately and overtly proving oneself to others for approval and validation.
The truth is that when the Lord calls us, He equips us.
Stay in Your Lane
Hear me clearly: my heart in this matter is not to make a spectacle of people who lack a particular measure of talent. But when you try to do what you’re not equipped to do, you’ll quickly encounter frustration, impatience, defensiveness, pride, and exasperation at the very least.
Everyone has something to contribute to the world, and when you find out who you really are and discover the unique significance of your life, you won’t ever want to be someone else. And therein is the key. When you stay in your lane, you’ll discover:
Provision to fulfill your calling.
Protection to stay in God’s flow of grace for your calling.
Purpose to live generously and authentically unto others in your calling.
You’ll also encounter challenges; “giants” in your land so-to-speak. But because you’re in your “lane,” you’ll be equipped for victory. God will never lead you into a battle you’re not equipped to win. The question is, will you have the overcoming spirit of Joshua and Caleb?
“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” – Numbers 14:9 (NKJV)
You don’t ever have to question whether or not you have something to contribute in this life. No one can thwart the plans God has for you. No one. For His purpose were you created. You are significant. Be faithful to the Lord and trust Him for the timely, unique, personal portion that comes from His hand. Eradicate comparison. Eradicate striving. Stay passionate. Stay excellent.
I believe in you.