There’s an innate quality within little children that speaks volumes about the condition of the human heart: little boys want to be superheroes and little girls want to be princesses. And if we’re honest, it doesn’t go away as we grow up–we just put on different costumes.
As a speaker, I find myself wanting to be compared to the Titans in the field: Ziglar, Maxwell, Andrews
We rank ourselves in tennis leagues, we compare how many friends we have on Facebook and followers we have on Twitter, we judge our parenting on our children’s behavior, and we give out plaques for employee of the month, quarter, year, century.
Our longing for significance is often masked by popularity.
Curiously, on the other side of this struggle complacency threatens to keep us from even trying. In order to avoid the competition, we settle for mediocrity.
This is something I have battled since grade school and I dare say that you’re right there with me.
So how do we manage this tension?
Understanding Our Superpowers
I believe it is fair to say that each of us has specific gifts and talents, our superpowers if you will. It could be athleticism or salesmanship. For some it may be encouragement, for others servanthood. Yet for some, it is patience or their ability to listen.
Let’s refer to this as our cape, our defining strength.
First, we must know our strength and cultivate it. Have you ever considered what your strength is? Have you written it down? Have you prayed about it?
If not, I would consider doing so. Cultivating your strengths creates great confidence.
It took me a long time to realize that verbalizing your strengths was not arrogant. Too often, I hid from compliments and downplayed any affirmation. A sly form pride known as faux humility.
Don’t hide from your strengths, cultivate them.
Now once you have defined and cultivated your strengths, it’s time to position them accordingly. During a conversation with a mentor this week, he told me, “Tuck in your cape Superman.” At first, I laughed it off. However, as I rested on those words, I started to recognize something much deeper.
Superman didn’t flaunt himself as the Man of Steel all the time, he was Clark Kent. There’s a confidence in knowing your strengths, but there has to be a humility when using them.
It’s time to tuck in your cape.
Learning from Paul
In the life of the early church, if anyone could claim to be Superman, it would be the Apostle Paul.
Here are his bold words.
“Though I myself have reason for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more.” Philippians 3:4
Paul speaks of his heritage as a Jew, his obedience to the law, his zeal for persecution and when questioned about his legalistic righteousness, he uses the word faultless.
He was right. He was affirming his strengths, recognizing his cape. But here’s where he tucks it in.
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more. I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him not having a righteousness that comes from my own, but that which comes through faith in Christ.”
These words strike a deep chord with me.
We all have a cape–gifts and talents that can benefit others in remarkable ways. We should to chase our dreams and our passions in an effort to cultivate them in our lives.
However, the recognition of our cape is only a reminder of who gave it to us.
Significance isn’t found in comparing our capes, it’s found by knowing when to tuck them in.
And that happens by faith–by first giving credit to the One who gave them to us.
So today, recognize your proverbial cape and then trust God by tucking it in.
About the Author
Matt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.
You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com
To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking