When you think of the word ‘talent’ what comes to mind?
According to Webster’s dictionary, ‘talent’ is a noun that indicates a special, usually athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude; general intelligence or mental power (ability). Aka: the natural endowments of a person.
In my mind, I immediately synonymize it with ‘gift’. An unique thing bestowed upon each person. By our Creator.
A lot of people say they don’t have any talent, you might even say that of yourself, but you do. You might just be looking at it from the wrong perspective. Most believe, I think, that having talent for a thing means you don’t have to put any work into, which is simply not the case.
The most literal picture I have of this is the experience of my younger brother. When we were little, my brother was all about sports. If it involved wheels or a ball, he loved it. He was good at it, without really trying too hard. He had an aptitude for sports. But as he got older and played against more challenging teams, he discovered that sheer talent alone wasn’t enough to keep winning. He had rested on his talent instead of putting in the time and effort to get better just as his peers were. They caught up to time, surpassed him, and he eventually moved on the other things.
What I want to point out here is that talent doesn’t mean you’re an expert right off the bat. It’s an aptitude. A penchant for.
When God formed you in secret, he gave you a gift. This talent. Whether it be for music, or art, or writing, or intelligence/ingenuity, or math, or leadership, or swimming, or—whatever. He gave it to you. Why? Because he loves you. Because he takes joy in you and what only you can do. Because he has a plan and a purpose for you. Because he wants to go alongside you as you do whatever it is you do. Because he wants us to glorify him.
But the nature of gifts is that they are freely given, no strings attached. We can choose what to do with the talents God has given us. We can idolize them. Keep them under a basket. Ignore them.
Or, we can hone them. Plant them, water them, nurture them.
I hate to burst any bubbles, but healthy talents are skills acquired through hard work and effort! No architectural wonders were built by someone who never played with LEGOs® (figuratively speaking). How many years of practice did it take Beethoven before he became one of the greatest composers of history? How many manuscripts lay tucked in the desk drawers of our favorite authors, never to see the light of day? How many scrapped projects and crumpled sketches?
It takes work to turn a talent into a skill. Ask any honest person what it took for them to get as good as they are at whatever they do.
So what joy have we when we take the talents God has given us and practice them, when we use them! When we learn and grow, increase in skill, and bring the Lord into it, there is no limit to the beauty and light we can shed into this world. When we give our talents to God’s glory, there is no telling what incredible things he will do with them!
Be encouraged, friends—you are talented, uniquely gifted. Practice it, and keep your eyes peeled for the wonders our amazing God will work through it.
Join the conversation! What are your talents? How have you been honing them? Have you seen God use them for things you couldn’t imagine accomplishing in your own power? Not sure if you have one, or what it might be? (hint: it doesn’t have to be the breadwinner!) What’s something you love or enjoy doing or are good at? Think outside the box, and let’s hear it!
I love this. Such a beautiful reminder that a talent is only as good as the work you put into it. Aptitude does not equal success.
My talents lie in teaching, baking, reading, writing, and encouraging.
(Your story about your brother now has the quote from Herb Brooks in “Miracle” running through my head, “You think you can win on talent alone? Gentlemen, you don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone!” Now I have to go rewatch that movie…)
😂 Thank you so much! I haven’t seen ‘Miracle’, but that quote is pretty neat! And what a great collection of talents you have! I can definitely relate to the baking and writing (if I could do just those two things for the rest of my life, I’d be on cloud 9), and I love that you count reading as a talent👍👍
I am gifted with many talents: I am good at growing plants, psychology, cooking, baking (you would think those two go hand in hand), I am good with my hands at fixing things.
I have to say I like how you defined talents with a dictionary and then through God’s word.
Thank you so much! And WOW, that’s a lot of things to be handy in! I find psychology a fascinating subject, but have never formally studied it.
I’m thinking that “talents” are gifts from our Creator that must be given back to Him and honed through blessed disciplines.
I LOVE what you wrote.
Thank you so much!