Every person has their strengths and weaknesses. Thank God for those strengths! And man, how those weaknesses can challenge and threaten everything!
Solomon was a man whose wisdom was an astoundingly big strength. God specially blessed him when Solomon asked him for wisdom at the beginning of his reign as king. As a result of that blessing, he became a “Renaissance Man” 2300 years before the renaissance even began.
He wrote thousands of of proverbs (a few of which are in the book of the Bible called “Proverbs”). He composed over a thousand songs. He was a scholar and a scientist, with expert knowledge in botany and zoology. He skillfully managed thousands of government officials, and served as commander-in-chief of the Israelite military.
Yet, he was also a man who allowed himself to be trapped by greed and lust. He could never seem to get to a point where he could say, “I have enough.” Whether it had to do with the size of his kingdom, the wealth of his household, or the number of wives and kept-women he surrounded himself with — more was always better.
And that led to his ultimate downfall.
This is something for all of us to keep watch for. We may have a lot of talents and abilities. We may be blessed with a quick intellect, ready answers and solid advice for people. But each of us will still struggle with sins that can result in our own downfall.
It’s good to be thankful for the talents God has given us. It’s even better to be watchful and vigilant about character defects that can destroy and demolish our lives and our faith.
Jesus is the answer. He has the forgiveness we need for the times when we fail. He also has the strength we need to heal our hurts, build a godly character, and replace the habits and hang-ups that can blow up the things we cherish most in life.
At the end of the day, character outweighs talent. No matter how talented we might be, our character flaws can demolish everything we’ve invested a lifetime building.
Including, even, our relationship with God.
“God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29, NIV).
Lord, thank you for giving me the talents and abilities I have. Please forgive me for the sins I commit and help me build a godly character so that I can honor you. Thank you, Jesus, for your steadfast love, for sacrificing yourself for me and for helping me not to self-destruct through my character flaws.
Our Bible reading for Thursday, June 18, is 1 Kings 3:16 – 5:18, Acts 12:19 -13:12 and Psalm 74:18-23.
Header image based on "House No More" by James McCauley, CC By 2.0