Excuse Me!!! Make Room for My Gift, Please

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16). You believe this, right? Of course, you do! It is scripture! Therefore, I absolutely believe it, but not in the context you might be thinking. Since I was growing up in church people have quoted this verse of scripture to mean that your talents, giftings, and abilities from God will make room for you without considering what the word gift in this verse of scripture means.  

The word gift in Proverbs 18:16 is not referring to your talents, giftings, and abilities that come from God, but rather, it is referring to a physical gift such as a present that you give someone. The Hebrew word is Matan. It means gifts, presents. So, this verse is really saying that giving people gifts or presents opens doors of opportunities for the gift giver, and isn’t this true? Yes, it is! People can come into favor with persons in prominent positions because they are able to give them gifts. This is what Jacob tried to do to earn Esau’s favor. He sent Esau a gift. Now, I am not saying that Esau was someone great, but Jacob needed his favor because he had stolen his birthright and his blessing, and he thought Esau was still angry with him. Here is Jacob’s rationale, “For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me” (Genesis 32:20). Jacob was bribing his way into Esau’s good graces.

Now, I know that my explanation of Proverb 18:16 is probably making you wonder, “How then will people recognize my talents, giftings, and abilities?” Well, put your wondering to rest. God knows how to make that happen, and, of course, you play a significant role in the process. 1 Peter 5:6 says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (NLT), James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. Matthew 23:12 says, “But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (NLT). Proverbs 29:23 says, “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit” (KJV). Your humility is what God will use to make people recognize your talents, giftings, and abilities. So, if we were to rewrite Proverbs 18:16 using the word humility. It would read like this, “A man’s humility makes room for him and brings him before great men.”