The following post is based on a lesson on using your gifts from Dave Anderson’s book How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK.
Do you remember reading about David and Goliath? Do you remember how Saul tried to make David wear armor that would not fit him? I laugh when I try to picture David as a youth trying to walk around in Saul’s armor, potentially bumping into tent posts and stepping into the campfires scattered around. It may not have been as close to a scene out of the Carol Burnett show as I have it pictured, but I imagine there had to be some humor in it.
Finally, David threw off Saul’s armor and wore his own shepherd’s clothes. He left Saul’s weapons in the tent and chose to use the sling and the stones he already knew how to use. These fit him. While he had never fought in a war with other soldiers, he had certainly seen his battles protecting the flocks from predators. Instead of using someone else’s armor and weaponry in this new battle, he went with what was familiar to him.
What Can We Learn?
Apparently, he made the right choice. So what can we as leaders learn from this episode? How do we apply it to what we do on a daily basis?
The first place I think to look is back in the Bible. Let’s consider Romans 12:6-8. In this passage, Paul is telling the Romans that different people receive different gifts from God.
When we receive specific gifts, we should use those gifts according to our faith. If one is given the gift of teaching, then they are to teach. Another may be given the gift of encouragement; they should encourage. You have probably read this and understand it.
I believe this is directly related to the story about David and the armor. You see, Saul was trying to get David to wear armor that was not his. It was not fit for him. It was not comfortable to him. It simply would have been a burden to David. It would have hampered his effectiveness against Goliath.
Gifts From God
The same is true about gifts from God. If God has given me the gift of encouragement, but not the gift of leadership, should I try to lead? Just because I want to lead does not mean that is what I should do. In fact, if God has not gifted me in that area, I will only cause problems if I try to do it anyway. If I am not gifted to teach, but I insist on doing so, what kind of results will I get? I may like the idea of teaching, but if God has not gifted me for it, that is not where I will be most effective.
Look at 1 Corinthians 12 and see more discussion on this. In this passage, Paul takes it further and uses the human body and its parts to illustrate his point. Each part has its job to do. Each job is just as important to the health of the body as the next. All deserve honor. None of the parts should aspire to be another part. Instead, each part should embrace the role they have been given and do the best they can at being that part.
Lessons For Leaders
As leaders, we must do the same.
1. Discover your gifting
- David quickly found that Saul’s armor would not work. You need to determine your gifting. There are tools to accomplish this, but you can also ask those who know you best. Pray for God to reveal it to you.
2. Embrace that gifting
- David did not hesitate to reject Saul’s armor and revert back to his own tools. Once you know your gifts, embrace them! Know that the Creator of the universe chose you specially for those gifts! They are worthy of honor!
3. Learn how to best apply that gifting
- David spent years learning accuracy with his sling and stones. Do not expect overnight results in your gifts. Developing these gifts take time. Through prayer, application, and learning from defeats (as well as successes), you will grow in these gifts.
4. Go to battle!
- David went boldly into battle with his tools. Do not be afraid to fight the battles with your gifts. Do not forget you represent God and He has your back!
Now, go out there and use your own armor!
What are your gifts?
Are you embracing them and growing in your application of them?
What battles are you fighting?