Proverbs 18:16 – “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” NKJV
The practice of bringing a gift when appearing before a dignitary is in view in this reflection of Solomon. If a person had a gift or a bribe that was of value he could gain access to high places, preferential treatment or release from prison. It was a matter of what he brought to the table.
Let me take this from a slightly different perspective and address a truth that is revealed in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” NKJV Simply, any gifts, abilities or talents we have find their root in God and His depositing them in our lives. Of course we may have developed and honed them perfecting them or elevating them to high quality but we would not have them at all were it not for the gifts of God.
So, if you find yourself frustrated because no one has recognized your abilities and you are watching others gain audience with greatness while you stand in the shadows I must ask a question. What do you bring to the table? If you have a passion in life or ministry and have a gift or ability that would facilitate that ministry or function does anyone know it? Have you looked for opportunities to perform your gift or ability not pining for recognition or promotion? Have you served in your gift? In so doing you will present before people that which you bring to the table and if it is of value to purpose it will be recognized and that gift will bring you before those who can open the door.
I have long told people who complain that they are not being used in the best manner or to the fullest measure, find a need and fill it. If you have a gift or ability to do anything look around for the presence of that need and fill the need. I do not suggest that you violate God’s chain of command in the local church but look around for something that can be satisfied by your gift, talent or ability and do it. If you do it for recognition then it will identify the flaw of your heart and the weakness of your gift and you will stay in the shadows growing bitter. If you do it because you love God, recognize His gift and love people it will bring you before the proper authorities and decision makers and open a door for you.
I would suggest that if you are doing that and your gift still does not bring you to the place of recognition there is a problem. The problem might be that the real value of what you think you bring to the table is less than you think. The problem might be that the place of ministry is not where God has chosen for you. I purposely avoided another possibility regarding the hearts of those in positions of responsibility and authority. I have found in life that even when those hearts are not as pure as they should be the value of what I brought to the table was unavoidable and the gift God had placed before me opened doors anyway. I have found all three scenarios to be realities in my life and have grown from each of them.
So before you allow a root of bitterness to spring up in your heart allow the Holy Spirit to help you see what the gift is and how you can use it. The gift God has placed within you will make room for you. I told my son years ago regarding the football team, “Create a spot for yourself. Develop an ability that they cannot do without.” I have told people that on many fronts and if you see an itch be the implement that will scratch it. If you see a problem be the solution and in so doing you will find that what you bring to the table is too valuable to go unused.
God bless you as you go through your day!