But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17 (NIV)

Too often we mistake anointing and giftedness with maturity. People who have talents and gifts are often given more of a voice than they should. Their anointing, as powerful as it may be, does not mean they are mature, or even have a good character. People have ministered in very public places with a high level of anointing, long after they had strolled into sin. Gifting is irrevocable (Romans 11:29), meaning they are given to us by grace and are not earned, or sustained by our efforts.

We also need to discern the difference between immaturity and rebellion. It is very common to have much zeal but lack wisdom and maturity. It is totally another thing to operate in gifting but to be in sin.

We need to be careful not to “lay hands on people” too soon. They may have the giftedness we need, but do they have the maturity required to operate in the position we need them to fulfill. Many pastors regret handing over key ministries to “gifted folks” who ultimately have “faults” that should have held them back from the place of influence they were given.

Jesus’ warning to wolves in sheep clothing was not denying what they could do, but urging us to look at the character and maturity behind the person (Matthew 7:16). We must look at the fruit in their life! Are they teachable? Are they humble? Are they willing to submit? Are they hiding anything?

Ask God to release in your church, and especially in your pastor, an increased level of discernment, to see behind the loudness of giftedness and anointing. Ask God to reveal anything in you that is hiding behind giftedness and anointing. Ask Him to give you a grace to be more teachable, more humble and more willing to submit to God’s authority!