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Tainted Talent

By Dan Stevens.

Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods, Ramalinga Raju, Samson and King Solomon have one thing in common. They were extremely talented and fell from grace.

And they fell not because of an external force but because of internal corruption.

Tiger Woods summed it up accurately. When he met the press after his scandal became public, he said "I fooled myself for so long, I lied to myself, … when all was stripped away, I realised the magnitude of what I had done."

While we might not be as talented as these individuals, it is easy to mask the internal deception that is setting in in our lives as we go about successfully pursuing the busyness of our day to day lives. There are three things that set us on this slippery slope of public success and private failure.

1.    When we forget our calling and get enamored by our talent

God’s calling and gifting goes hand-in-hand. Samson was gifted with enormous strength to protect the nation of Israel. Not to fool around playing practical jokes in Delilah’s lap. Unless we develop a sensitive and responsive heart, it is all too easy to forget our calling and get enamored with our talent.

2.    When we allow ourselves to be defined by our talents

God made us human beings and the world measures us as if we were human doings. When we allow ourselves to be squeezed into the world’s mould and get convinced, that we are only as good as our accomplishments, we allow ourselves to be deceived. Even a secular writer like JK Rowling figured this out when she said “life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people who confuse the two”.

3.     When we crave for the ill-gotten gains using our talents

The Old Testament pagan prophet Balaam had the ability to bless or curse anyone to actual effect. And he was willing to sell his service for the highest bid even if it meant going against Yahweh. We could end up doing the same. When we crave for the gains this world can offer, our talents can become the means, the devil our partner and God our opponent.


It is interesting that the Bible does not make mention of any prophet or priest who were proximate to the incredibly talented people like Solomon or Samson. Could that have caused or accelerated their fall? How proximate are we to the still small voice of God?


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