A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.
History and Context:
Proverbs are one-line nuggets of wisdom that are written to stand on their own. So the majority of them can be taken out by themselves without worry of context. They are meant to express general wisdom principles and not to be guarantees or promises. King Solomon the son of King David wrote the majority of the proverbs in order to share his wisdom. God gave Solomon the opportunity to ask for any one thing and Solomon asked for wisdom to lead his people. In response the Bible says that Solomon's wisdom was unmatched by anyone. Many of his proverbs have become common sayings in today's society and people don't even realize that they are from the Bible.
In reading this proverb one must remember the context that this is a general principle of wisdom and not necessarily a promise. There are many very talented people who do not find themselves "before great men". Of course in that we could get into the discussion of what constitutes a "great" man but that's for another day. I do believe that there should be some subtext understood when looking at this proverb. Just because someone has a natural talent or gift doesn't automatically mean that it will make room for them. I believe that the gift must first be developed. Romans 12:6 says "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them..." In other words we have to use our gifts before they begin to make room for us. There are many very talented people out there who simply do not use their talents and are letting them go to waste. Secondly I believe that in order for this proverb to come to past people must be willing to put in hard work and sacrifice. If you look at any successful athlete, singer, actor, musician, etc. you find a person that put in hard work and sacrificed things many people took for granted in order to get where they are today.
The Challenge:What gift or talent has God given you? Are you developing it and using it or are you letting it go to waste? If you make the effort to develop and use your gifts I believe they will make room for you. God will bring you into a position where you can use it for His glory. Find ways to use those gifts and grow in them.
Lord, let my gifts make room for me and bring me to a place of influence for your glory. In Jesus' name, Amen!