26 People Who Prove That Talent Is Overrated

Leadership / Personal Development //

Do you ever feel like maybe, just maybe, God can’t really use you? After all, there are so many talented people out there. So many who are better writers, better teachers, better parents, better singers, better [insert your perceived shortfall here.]

If you’ve ever felt that way, today is for you.

Photo Courtesy of Lightstock.com – Justin

You won’t find a long list of reasons why you really are qualified or good enough. No assessment of how to discover your gifts and plug in to the “right spot.” No half-time-pep-talk meant to give you confidence for the next 30 minutes.

Nope. None of that. Just two simple reminders. And one list of people – just like you – that had some serious deficiencies (and God used them anyway).

Reminder #1: There will always be people more talented than you.

There. I said it.

As a writer and speaker, I frequently have dueling feelings when I read amazing writing or see a gifted speaker. I admire the creativity or the clarity or the spin of a phrase. And yet, I’m also bummed that I didn’t think of it first.


Where did we ever get the idea that God is only interested in the best. That He can only use the super-talented.

God isn’t after the best. He’s after your best.” (Yes, feel free to Tweet that or share it on Facebook.)

Remind #2: You get better as you do, not as you sit.

Is there something you want to do? Something you feel called to do? Something you know God wants you to do?

If so, get started. McNair Wilson is a friend of mine who said something more than a decade ago that I still think about frequently:

Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly just to get started.”

I completely agree. It’s really hard to improve while standing still. You want to get better? Get going!

The List: Messed up people God still decided to use.

Maybe this isn’t the best motivation, but sometimes, reading about the the weakness of others is a bit of a boost. (I know. I know. Shame on me.)

Our pastor shared this list in a sermon a while back. I’ve been holding onto it for just the right time. Today’s the day.

Whenever you wonder if God can use someone as weak or messy as you, come on back and read it again. (Honestly, some of them just make me laugh.)

  • Noah was a drunk
  • Abraham was too old
  • Isaac was a daydreamer
  • Jacob was a liar
  • Leah was ugly
  • Joseph was abused
  • Moses had a speech impediment
  • Gideon was afraid
  • Samson was a womanizer (and had long hair !)
  • Rahab was a prostitute
  • Jeremiah was too young
  • David was an adulterer
  • Elijah was suicidal
  • Jonah ran from God (and was a whining cry-baby)
  • Naomi was a widow
  • Ruth was a foreigner
  • Job went bankrupt
  • John the Baptist was a really bad dresser
  • Peter denied Christ
  • The disciples fell asleep while praying
  • Martha worried about everything
  • The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)
  • Zaccheus was too small
  • Paul was a murderer
  • Timothy had an ulcer
  • Oh yeah…and Lazarus was dead.

Ok. That last one cracks me up every time.

Do you know someone who could benefit from reading these reminders (or this list)? Mind sharing it on Twitter and Facebook?

Question: Know someone else I should add to the list? Would you leave it in the comments? Thanks.





About the Author

Keith Ferrin is an author, speaker, blogger, and storyteller who is passionate about helping people read, study, engage, and enjoy the Bible. He was a youth pastor for six years before writing and speaking fulltime. He is the author of three books, including Like Ice Cream: The Scoop on Helping the Next Generation Fall in Love with God’s Word. He and his wife, Kari, have three kids who are the source of both his big smile and gray hair. They live just outside of Seattle. Keith also holds to the belief that coffee and ice cream are proof of a benevolent God.