This year has been marked by a lot of questions and conversations about the relationship between talent and character.
It presents 2 opportunities for disaster and 1 for incredible output.
The dangers of talent without character are obvious; doping baseball players, sex scandals in churches, etc... The picture is of a grapefruit on a pencil...heavy up top with very little to support it. When the pressures and responsibilities that accompany high performance come, there is no sandbar to keep the waters from washing out the whole thing.
Character without talent leads to a different juncture. This can play out a few ways, primarily having someone be passionate about something they aren't necessarily gifted in. No harm done in the realm of entertainment or hobbying, but professionally this can be disastrous.
Bring this conversation into the social sector, and particularly the church, and the stakes are raised. No one balks at the fact that character is a non-negotiable in great churches. But what if someone has great character and average talent?
Talent is subjective sure, but most people can identify when someone is functioning in their sweet-spot from a mile away.
One last thought: it seems we have more (not absolute) control over our own character than our talent. Yet everyone knows the value of working hard to develop your skills. This informs where we invest our efforts.