THE INCREASE: LaMorris Crawford - A Continual Process

When we park at the gifts with which God has wired us as individuals, we develop the character and purpose He has for meant for us to live in.

Take a look at the life of David. He had two gifts: He was a killer and a musician, and he was great at these things! And he met success whenever he used them. But when he got off track with these gifts, he found himself in trouble. We see this firsthand in 2 Samuel 11:

“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.” (verse 1)

We have to stay within our gifting if we want to be best utilized for the Kingdom of God. God has wired and gifted us in specific ways for a purpose. The moment you step outside of that, you’re in trouble. In David’s case, if he went into battle and acted as the killer he was, the whole scandal with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband, would have never happened. If David was at war, using his gifts, he wouldn’t have given into the temptation and distractions of the enemy, and thus committed adultery with Bathsheba.

We see another example of this as Peter and Paul went out to spread the Gospel of Jesus’ salvation. Peter was called to Jerusalem to minister to the Gentiles, and Paul was supposed to go to the rest of the world. But Paul wanted to stay in Jerusalem and because of this, he was thrown into prison. If he had stayed on his missionary journey, he would have been out changing the world! He didn’t park in his purpose and gifts.

Yes, God still used Paul’s life and story — even in prison — for His glory. That’s because God can redeem any mistake, but He can’t redeem time. To say God can’t do something sounds crazy, but He also designed for us to be on a journey of time. Once Adam stood on earth, he was bound by time. Our lives on earth are on lease.

So while Paul made a mistake and God was still able to redeem the situation, God didn’t take back the time Paul wasted. We too can go outside of God’s will and He can redeem our lives, but why go there in the first place when God has a greater purpose for us? Our goal is to obey; at the forefront of the Kingdom is obedience to the King. There’s a reason He planted Peter in Jerusalem, Paul on the missionary journey, David in battle, and you and I in the places He’s placed us.

The character of a king always wins. Throughout 1 Samuel 18, it’s mentioned multiple times that David behaved wisely and the Lord was with him. David was a man after God’s own heart; He was a man of character. The true test of a great king or leader is his character. Character can be thought of as your moral compass partnered with a determined purpose to make the right decision no matter what the circumstances may be. Character is developed; it’s a continual process and requires growth.

As men and women of character, we have to put aside childish things. We need to stop acting, thinking and understanding as a child would and take on the mindset and purpose of Christ. You’re never done working on character; it’s a lifelong process we walk when we choose to walk in the guidance and purpose of our King.

LaMorris Crawford, Cincinnati Bengals chaplain

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit for more stories and videos.