We live in a day where most people are experiencing a strong desire to walk in their life’s purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced this. Many have found themselves locked in their homes much longer than desired with endless amounts of time to think. These trying times have somehow helped many find the strength and boldness to jump off a cliff in the dark hoping to land. In my opinion, there’s no better time in which to live.
As I look around, I see many christians taking a leap and beginning ministry. Everyday new faces appear on social media and everyone has a word. I’ve lived long enough and been in enough places to know that finding purpose is like finding water in the desert. It can be found but one must be in the right place at the right time. It is in purpose that passion and gifts align. You can be gifted in business, charismatic, a great speaker or a great singer. These things were embedded in you before you were born. Romans 11:29 tells us, “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” When it comes to gifts, God is not an “Indian Giver”. Once he gives a gift it’s yours, no strings attached. He did, however, give us power over our will which controls our character.
When life challenges present themselves we are given the choice of how our character will be displayed. When one chooses the low road, we suddenly find their name in headlines. Womanisers, pedafiles, embezzlers suddenly after years find the light shining on them in a new way and families torn apart by secrets and lies. Luke 12:2-3 tells us “What’s done in the dark will come to the light. It’s inevitable.
As believers we are held to a greater standard than the world. We cannot settle to have our gift displayed in pulpits while at home we are a terror, mean, unforgiving, and selfish. We are the light of the world and should behave in such a way. (John 8:12) There is a fragrance, a language that believers should have. I’m not talking about being perfect, I’m talking about when you’re not. That’s one place your character has the opportunity to show up. It’s the perfect stage for your character to shine. When you are caught with your pants down, you either humble yourself, or get some fig leaves and cover up. You either repent and make amends or make excuses. David was a perfect example of this. In 2 Samuel David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and then had him killed. Now that’s a serious character flaw but God called him a man after His heart. (1 Samuel 13:14)
So what was found in David’s heart? I believe God saw David’s willingness to humble himself when he made a mistake.(Psalm 51) He saw David’s eagerness to repent and ask for forgiveness. David not only humbled himself and repented but he also took his punishment like a man. In 2 Samuel 24:14 David acknowledged that he would rather fall into the hands of a merciful God, than the hands of man. It is this character that pleases God, not perfection. Once David took care of business with God he never behaved that way again.
As we venture out to pursue our passions we must be sure to do the hard work first. Gifts are freely given but character must be developed through challenging and difficult situations. I pray that we are women and men of character and not just the operation of our gifts. As John Maxwell said, “Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.” I challenge you to ask God how’s your character. Everyone has blind spots and only God knows what’s pleasing to him. Man can be easily pleased and fooled but God knows and sees the intentions of the heart. (Jeremiah 17:10) May you be known for your character and as one whose heart is after God.
Author: Petrina Milan