Earlier todayI was watching the UK/Vandy game (on DVR – a visit to a funeral viewing where a member’s mother passed away was more important…but I still needed to watch the game right?) with my wife and daughter and it became very apparent to me that Demarcus Cousins is an extremely talented freshman – you might be saying, “you’re just now picking that up? A little slow are we?” Just last week he received freshman of the week honors for his stellar performance with a game-high 27 points. However, what has also become quite apparent to me is that Demarcus Cousins lacks a lot of maturity…a lot. Well, he’s a freshman Nathan – lay off the kid. Okay, okay, just hear me out for a second. I love UK. I really do. And it’s not just because a lot of tuition dollars went there. That being said, has anyone noticed how Cousins will make a tough basket, get fouled and then proceed to show-off, which of course, isn’t anything new. And to be honest, I don’t really mind that. But if you observe him (and you don’t have to do it closely) you’ll notice that he continues to run his mouth even after a play that went in his favor. In fact, I think a lot of fans sitting or standing at Rupp (and you should always be standing at Rupp by the way) and those watching via TV hold their breathe because all of them (including this guy) are uncertain as to what Cousins is going to do. I’ve even thought at times he was going to punch an official or worse, Coach Cal! He has tremendous ability, but his maturity is nowhere near commensurate to his athleticism; it overshadows it quite a bit. And it got me thinking about me as a pastor and even other pastors. A pastor might be extremely talented in the pulpit; He can “shuck the corn”; he can be extremely articulate; he can have an inordinate amount of charisma and can move a congregation to eat anything out of the palm of his hand (which cannot be done without the favor/grace of God mind you). All that to say, is that he could be very gifted in the limelight of Christian ministry, but could be an extremely immature believer; his ability to preach may actual rival his Christian character. And Cousins’ behavior on the court and the contrast with his remarkable ability is a reminder to me that my spiritual maturity or my Christian character needs to be commensurate or really, supercede my talent, giftedness, etc. (not to assume that I am an extremely talented or gifted guy [seriously, I believe wholeheartedly that God is the giver of every good and perfect gift and I ain’t got nothing that God hasn’t given me and I ain’t got no room to boast – it’s all Him], but I do believe that God has given me a small measure of gifts and I want to be a good steward of them by living out my gifts, talents, etc., with a Christ-honoring and Christ-glorifying attitude). With talent, with giftedness, with opportunities comes an expectation of faithfulness, maturity, stewardship. May I be found faithful. May I be found a good steward of all that God has given me. To His glory and not mine.