It is possible for someone to become proud, arrogant and conceited because of the talents that the Lord has given him to use for the good of all.
Such a person may begin to put on airs of superiority and to treat others with condescension.
When the person begins to behave that way, his talents have taken over and are now controlling him instead of him controlling them. Such a person, of all people, is to be greatly pitied. He is like a “Christmas Tree” on which one has laid many decorations which now begins to boast about its importance because of the decorations that it carries!
No one in his right mind should boast about his talents because there is none of them that he did not receive. Even if he worked hard and, consequently, multiplied what he had, he still cannot boast about it because the power and ability to work hard were given to him by God’s grace. The Apostle Paul understood this very clearly. He said,
“For l am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because l persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God l am what l am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, l worked harder than all of them — yet not l, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was l or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed” (1 Corinthians 15:9-11).
Do you see it? He worked harder than them all, yet it was not he but the grace of God that was with him. Because it was by grace, it excluded any boasting. The Apostle Paul wrote,
“And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6).
Yes, a man works on his talents and works with his talents, but since it is all by grace, work is no longer work. Work becomes a work of grace, and if it is a work of grace, boasting is eliminated.
The multi-talent person must heed the command of the word of God that says,
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
The question may arise, “How can someone with many well-developed talents consider someone with one talent of low or average manifestation to be better than himself?” The answer is three-fold: First of all, it is a command of Scripture and the best thing to do is to obey it rather than rationalize it. Secondly, the person with the one talent may not be better than you in talents, but may be better than you in many things that count more before God than talents; for example:
Purity of heart
Love of the Lord
Closeness to the Lord
Sacrifice for the Lord
Suffering for the Lord
Dying to self
Separation from the love of the world
Separation from the love of the things of the world
The fear of the Lord
Hunger for the Lord
Many other things.
Thirdly, he may indeed be better than you in the matter of talents because he needs only one talent to accomplish the call of God on his life, whereas you need many talents to accomplish God’s call on your life. If a person can complete his job with one thing and you need many things to complete your own job, does he not have an advantage over you? Certainly, he does. He is more likely to succeed by using his one talent than you who must use many talents.
Because of these reasons and many others which we have not gone into, the person with many talents can, with a clear conscience, consider the person with one talent better than himself. If he does that, the walls of superiority complex will collapse to the glory of God and the blessing of man.
There is one more thing to say. It is this, “Pride goes before a fall.” Let the example of Nebuchadnezzar speak to all. The Bible says the following:
“All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, ‘Is not this the great Babylonl have builtas the royal residence,by my mighty powerandfor the glory of my majesty?’
The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven,‘This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authorityhas been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.’ Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird” (Daniel 4:28-33).
If you humble yourself, God will not need to humble you. So, humble yourself and use your talents from a humble disposition. Then God will exalt you.
It will help you if you do not talk often about your talents and what you are using them for. If you must talk about talents, talk about the talents of others and what they are being used for.