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Talented or Gifted

Posted by on Aug 11, 2010 in spiritual gifts | 3 comments

Talented or Gifted

In the comments of my post “Admonish One Another,” Rick brings up a good question:

Too often we pour Christian sauce over normal human behavior. We talk about “sweet fellowship” as if it were much different from everyday socializing. I once attended a church where there was much talk of how we would “dance before the Lord” at the annual Fall Festival, even though nothing distinguished it from the square dancing that happened all over town every Friday and Saturday night.

I have admonished and been admonished at work, in school, in grocery stores, during music lessons, at the DMV and public library, by our bookstore customers, at church and outside church. It is something that people do, Spirit-filled or not. Do you think this is the behavior that Paul describes in Romans 15:14?

His comment reminded me of a discussion that I’ve been having with several people over the last few weeks (maybe months now).

The discussion centers around this question: What is the difference (if anything) between a talent and a spiritual gift? Is there a difference between a talented teacher and a spiritually gifted teacher? Can a talented teacher not be a spiritually gifted teacher? Can a spiritually gifted teacher not be a talented teacher? (Feel free to use any spiritual gift to discuss these questions.)

What do you think?


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  1. 8-11-2010

    I think so Alan; however, I believe there could be a slight overlap or igniting if I might say so.

    For example, somone happens to be an unbelievably gifted speaker, with a great philosophical mind (lets say maybe Apollos) upon the Spirit igniting such a person now Christ is glorified. It goes for other gifts also. Someone may be a giving person before the Gospel and once saved they now have the gift of giving. I don’t really know though just thinking.

    What I really believe is that true spritual gifts are put on display when a person is given the desire to serve others. I think you can tell the difference between a spiritual gift and a talent because talent can stand alone but a spiritual gift seems to only flourish amongst community and for the community and often times may not even be recognized initially. Another thing is that Spiritual gifts may morph or change as the dynamics of the group change and the Spirit decides to do things differently. I don’t know if gifts are as fixated. For example the Spirit gifted people to give at a level we would be uncomfortable with in Acts 4. This was spontaneous, abnormal and the results were that Christ was glorified. The same happened with the boldness of the Apostles in Acts when Peter healed the man and again when Paul and Barnnabas were at the island (I think it was an island).

    Just my thoughts.

  2. 8-11-2010


    Thanks for your response. You brought up several points that we’ve been talking about in our discussions as well.


  3. 8-11-2010

    Without thinking too much into this; multitudes of unsaved people have many talents everywhere, and though these talents come from God, they’re not recognized as such, and are generally used for their own gain, fame or purposes. When I think of spiritual gifts, biblically, I think of gifts given from God to Christians, recognizing that these gifts are from God, and are generally used, at least in some way to exhort and build up other believers, bring others to Christ and/or glory to God.