Giftedness > Character

Jul 29, 2022

When everything melted down with our marriage in 2005, I had a lot of time to reflect and evaluate all the small mistakes that I made that led to the affair. What we realized was the affair was just a symptom of much deeper issues in my life. A few months after we got back together a friend said something to me that I’ll never forget that has changed the way that I live to this day:

“When your giftedness outweighs your character, implosion is on the horizon.”

What I realized is that I had spent so much of my life focused on becoming a better leader, a better communicator, a more gifted vision caster…over and over and over again I had neglected to grow my character at the same rate I was developing my gifts.

When you and I are more committed to gifts and talents and personality and ability than we are to character, it isn’t a matter of IF your life will implode, it is a matter of WHEN your life will implode.

The problem is character isn’t usually what impresses people at first. People are more impressed with good leadership ability than they are character. People are more impressed with a dynamic personality than they are character. People notice a strong worth ethic more than they do strong ethics. People drool over a person’s speaking ability and ability to motivate others to action than they do his/her character.

You want to know the biggest reason we sacrifice character development for talent development? We can fake character. You can’t fake talent, you either have it or you don’t…but you can fake integrity. We can cover up our inner junk. We can pretend away moral compromise and we can use our giftedness to cast such a large shadow over our lack of character development, no one notices.

Maybe you have a relationship that’s in trouble because you haven’t grown your character. You’ve relied on your ability to talk your way out of things and persuade and those chances have run out. Maybe your marriage is in trouble because you have consistently compromised integrity and neglected character because you could get away with it. Maybe you have trouble holding down a job because you can impress them with your ability, until they discover your character.

This is a principle that you can’t get away from. It took it 10 years to catch up with me; and man how I wish I had stopped running from it 9 years earlier. It would have been much less painful.

When your gifts, talents, personality, ability outweigh your character, implosion is on the horizon.