Have you ever tried to be like somebody else instead of being who God has called you to be? Many of us have probably made this mistake at times. But when we try to be like someone else, we cut out the very uniqueness that makes us special.
Most of us are familiar with the story of David and Goliath. One interesting part of the account is that when David decided to take on the giant, King Saul gave him his armor to wear for the encounter. But David wasn’t used to wearing the armor. He had trouble walking, so he took it off. Instead, he picked up his shepherd’s staff, gathered five smooth stones and put them in his shepherd’s bag.
We know what happened next. David ended up killing the giant by using a sling to launch one of the stones into Goliath’s forehead. His victory came in a way that seemed unconventional, but it was effective for David.
You see, David was a shepherd. He used the tools he was familiar with as a shepherd to defeat the giant. If he had tried to battle the giant with Saul’s armor, he probably would have been killed. But thankfully, David had enough wisdom to understand that he needed to work with his own gifts.
“David took [the armor] off. Then he took his staff in his hand” (1 Samuel 17:39-40, NKJV). To me, taking off the armor symbolizes taking off the burden of trying to be like somebody else. And picking up the shepherd’s staff symbolizes embracing God’s call on your own life. David didn’t face the challenge the same way others would have. But they weren’t the ones facing the giant; David was.
David’s example illustrates the truth of this proverb: “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” (Provers 18:16, NKJV). We need to understand, like David did, that God has given each of us special gifts. He has given us exactly what we need to walk in victory. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).
Indeed, His gifts to you are good, and they are perfect. You don’t have to look for another gift. You don’t have to force your way into situations. You don’t have to call attention to yourself. You don’t have to be like somebody else and operate in their gifts. Your gift will make room for you.
Of course, we should have mentors in life and learn from the examples of others. But we can never do things exactly like somebody else would. God has given each of us unique gifts that will help us experience victory, and there is a great deal of power and rest in understanding that.
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly” (Romans 12:6-8, NLT).
God, help us to recognize and embrace your gifts in us!