Most of us get tagged with a nickname or a label at a young age.
Tags and labels become permanent because of a unique moment or unusual behavior. Maybe a person is tall, so they tag them as “shorty.” Or perhaps a person is brilliant, and “Einstein” sticks as their label. So tags are just labels that confirm a person’s gift, talent, or unique thing that happened.
Every person is unique and has talent, ability, gifts, and skills.
There is a common acronym for tags.
Talent is not rare; it is resident and innate in every individual. Every person has unique and unusual talents and gifts. Maybe it’s a smile; or the way they walk or maybe it’s their contagious joy, the way they hug, or a heart filled with kindness. These are unique qualities. You are unique because you are the only you. We live in times where talent is glamorous, and character is overlooked and the presence of talent is not an accurate indicator of solid character.
Great talent garners a lot of attention and captures a crowd. Many talented people lean on their gifts and skip their character development.
John Wooden said, “Talent will get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”
You never want to be the person who is known for their talent and also as a “character.” The sky is the limit for those who have developed their talent and possess impeccable character.
Unlike talent, having a specific ability is more learned than innate. Talent refers to the natural aptitude to do something uniquely. Some people have a natural golf swing, and others train to improve their swing. Talent is innate, and ability is learned.
Talents are often recognized in children at a young age. Some children have innate abilities to play soccer, baseball, or basketball, and others work hard to reach average ability.
Talent and ability are two separate things.
- Talent is natural
- Ability is a learned
- Talent is recognized
- Ability is developed
- Talent improves with a coaching
- Ability improves with training
- Ten-grade talent is uncommon
- Ability is common
Gifts can be hidden behind fear and timidity. Were you ever surprised by a person with a gift to sing or dance? Maybe their gift was locked away in a closet of fear and self-doubt. This will only limit your gifts and gifts are not reserved for only the most beautiful or the smartest people.
Everyone possesses gifts and talents. Autistic children possess incredible gifts and talents that mesmerize us. Both giftedness and autism fall on a spectrum, so while some may fit into one box or another, some behaviors might be ambiguous or undiscovered.
Jerry Seinfeld has stated on more than one occasion that he believes he is autistic. Though no medical professional has officially diagnosed him, Seinfeld has defended his theory by citing various childhood challenges and his tendency to think literally. While Seinfeld may consider himself to have Asperger’s syndrome, others disagree. Indeed, the comedian’s revelation has been extremely controversial, with many feeling that his self-diagnosis has served to make light of an actual issue.
While some children with autism have extraordinary gifts, every autistic child is a gift. And every child born of God also has spiritual gifts.
What does the Bible say about gifts?
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. (I Peter 4:10, NLT)
We can see from this passage the focus of spiritual gifts is not to make any one person famous. Spiritual gifts are given to serve the members of the body of Christ and the church. Gifts are not rewards for special people or the elite. Every believer has a gift, and a spiritual gift is not evidence that God loves you more than others. Christ proved his love for you by dying for you.
We don’t receive gifts because we are holy; we welcome them because God freely gives them. Spiritual gifts are not a reward for reaching a new spiritual level. Nope. Gifts are also not a reward or trophy of God’s favor. Some folks brag about being God’s favorite, but gifts are not tags to God’s favorite kids; gifts are given to all believers to edify other believers.
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (I Corinthians 12:17–21, ESV)
A skill is an ability to perform something. Skills are both common and uncommon, and skills manifest on levels from novice to experienced. Every TED talk candidate has skills, but some candidates are more advanced in their skill level.
The most beautiful part of a skill is the opportunity to get better. We can always improve our skill level as we gain experience. Skill has no limits because learning has no limits. Continual learning contributes to developing new skills. Some people have developed their skills to the master level and with hard work, you can be one of those.
David, the Shepherd boy, mastered the ability to use a slingshot. The fact is, he killed a warrior.
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. (I Samuel 17:48, NIV)
David, the Shepherd boy, spent years in the wilderness practicing with his slingshot. God used David’s natural ability and added super to his natural. Some of us are not on David’s level and are learning to maximize our skills to new levels. God also imparts supernatural skills to specific individuals.
Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the Lord has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.” (Exodus 36:1, NIV)
When we throw it all together, we all have gifts, skills, abilities, and talents that are both innate and learned.
We also grow spiritually and use our spiritual gifts for God’s glory.
There is much to do.
With God’s help, we possess the talent, ability, gifts, and skills to make this world a better place.
Let’s pursue ways to do just that.
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