Man’s gift will make room for him, what does that really mean?  

Proverbs 18:16 

A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. 

          Ok, if you are like me, you have heard this very many times, Unfortunately, if you are also like me, you have heard it used incorrectly for years. What do I mean? Most church leaders use this as a means to say the gifts here are: spiritual gifts, or gifts of the Holy Spirit, or the gifts are your calling or anointing in life, like say, if you are anointed to sing or preach or whatever. They are basically saying your calling or your anointing that you have in you will make room for you and bring you before great men. OK, this is flawed for several reasons such as:  

  1. Just because all of us are anointed, (and we all are according to 1 John 2), however, this does not mean we will be called before great men. Sometimes the greatest people in the Kingdom of God are people we have never heard about. So just because we are anointed does not mean all of us will be well known. That is secular reasoning not biblical reasoning. Again, being the greatest of all is being the servant of all, not being served and being famous. Please remember that.  
  2. Secondly, it’s also false because this is an Old Testament passage and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as we know them today, were not fully in operation as we know them because Jesus had not died on the cross, and secondly, the Holy Spirit did not come and dwell in all believers which happened at the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2) so this cannot be referring to a New Testament experience nor can it be referring to spiritual gifts in the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit had not come to fill all believers yet. That is a New Testament experience, not an Old Testament one.  
  3. So, what is the gift it is referring to then? Well, honestly, it’s probably talking about a bribe or some kind of money. Yes, you heard, me. What this really is: is a sad commentary on when people use their money, materials, wealth, and possessions to influence people for ungodly, unholy, gain and influence to do evil, or use it to pervert justice. What this is saying is your bribe will bring you before great men, because unfortunately, money talks and corrupted men will always want to listen as it pertains to money. So, this verse, is not a good thing but a bad thing in the hands of wrongful men and women. That is what is being taught here. It’s a sad commentary, not a good one.  
  4. Plus, we need to understand Old Testament, Jewish culture and old-time biblical culture here. In the olden days, if one wanted an audience with the king, it was customary to bring a gift. No one came to the king empty handed, at least no one who wanted to be taken seriously by the king anyway, so everyone knew, if you want to stand before the king; bring something as a gift. Your gift, will make room for you and bring you before great men, is another way of saying, your gift will make the king listen to you when you have an audience with him. Sad, but true. So, know that going into it.  
  5. This verse has nothing to do with spiritual gifts, Holy Ghost anointings and making you famous because we are anointed. If that were the case, every believer would be famous and our name would go all over the world and everyone would know us and we would be rock stars, and every believer would win American Idol or the Voice and every preacher would be well known, if you will. We all know that is not the case, so know that going into this verse. Be blessed. For further research please look at the website I provided in the footnote.  

Closing Prayer 

Lord God, I thank You for Your anointing and power and filling me with You, the Holy Spirit. I thank You that You bless me and enrich my life greatly. However, I will never use this verse out of context again. Nor will I use the anointing on my life to make my name great but to make Your name great through me! It’s all about You Lord and forgive me if I have forgotten that. I repent Lord. Lead me in how to use the anointing You gave me, the right way, for right reasons, in Jesus’ name, Amen!  

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