Lent Devotional – Day 19
Character or Charisma?
(Charisma with Character is catastrophe)
The charisma of a gifted talent is a great asset to success. Indeed, talent must be received and fanned into flame until it becomes a charisma. The harder we work for it, the higher we will rise with it. I remember spending money and time for our children for learning music. Parents invest their everything to help their children sharpen their giftedness. There are several children’s talent shows on the TV in USA and in India where parents are seriously involved. Because this is a stair to success, to a spot of limelight, to fame, and of course to wealth.
At the same time, we are aware that many gifted celebrities are either addicted, or morally corrupt, or both. They have the world of wealth and fame, but they are vulnerable to stupidity. From Michael Jackson to Justin Bieber, or from Salman Khan to the young Indian idol singer Azmat Hussain, many names who have made headlines for their failures, can be listed here. Of course, even gifted Christian preachers, healers, theologians and religious leaders are included. The charismatic giftedness is not enough by itself, because it does not ascertain righteous character. God searches our heart and takes pleasure in the soundness of our inner being.
Character must precede charisma. For the charisma may mesmerize people but character reveals the inner being of a person. Solomon is considered the wisest king on the earth (1 Kings 4:29-34). Yet, he failed to be a king of good character. He was wild and sensual in establishing illegitimate relations. Disobeying the Lord, he married 700 wives and 300 concubines, and they led him astray (1 Kgs 11:1-3). He invited the disaster in his life. The Bible records, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. . . ..So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.. . ..The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. (1Kings 11:4-9).
Character is received and preserved when one surrenders and submits to the God of the Bible, listens, and obeys Him with absolute trust and delight. It is a lifestyle; it’s a journey till eternity.
“O Lord give me charisma to serve you on this earth, but let your character be the overriding wealth in my life. Amen!”
Rev. Dr. A K Lama