Monday, June 13, 2011

Do You Have a God-Given Talent?

Yesterday we had quite a discussion going on whether our talents were God-given, or whether we could just work hard enough to be good at something and call it a talent.

In my opinion, after having eight children and seeing for myself that they just seem to come with innate abilities and things that they are good at, I think we have God-given talents and it is our job to discover them and develop them—which means working hard to be good at them.

However, I think we might have things that we might not have a natural ability for that we can work at and be good at, and call them talents. Isn’t that part of the parable of the talents? The men are given talents, but then multiply them? I think that could apply here.

Yet, no matter if they are God-given or not, talents still have to be worked at and nurtured in order to reach their full potential. For example, I have always loved writing, even as a young child, and feel like it is one of my talents. But, I’m still working hard to learn the craft and improve at it. It’s part of the process.

What do you think? Are talents God-given? Or just something you want to be good at and work hard to do and then call a talent?

What We’re Doing for Family Night

For ten years or so I’ve been going to my local Family Home Evening store to buy packets with everything I need to do for a family night inside—pictures, stories, games, recipes, etc. The FHE store also had Sunday busy boxes, which was a lot of fun for my kids because there is a wheel that you spin and whatever Sunday activity you land on, that’s what you have to do. The store has gone digital and you can now download each family home evening lesson and busy box for a small fee. It’s been well worth my time and I thought I’d pass the link along to you. Click here.

What We’re Eating for Dinner

This is a quick and easy family favorite of ours.

Chicken Chimichangas
2/3 c. salsa
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. oregano
1 cup shredded cheese
6 tortillas
2 cans of chicken (or 1 chicken breast, shredded)

Mix salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese, and chicken. Place ½ c. of the mixture in a tortilla, then roll and place seam down in the casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa.


Jennie said...

I think God gives us the seeds for our talents, but how well they grow depends on how much we put into them. I think also that some people come with genetic factors, a gift from our ancestors, that plays a part in how fertile the soil is in which those seeds are planted.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

That's a really great way to put it, Jennie. I am especially intrigued with your statement, "a gift from our ancestors." I hadn't thought of it quite like that before, but it's a beautiful thought and probably very true.

~T~ said...

I would probably call an innate ability a talent. Something you develop that doesn't come naturally might be a skill. However, we're supposed to seek after the best gifts, right? God can give us gifts after we're born, too, and he honors our righteous desires if we do our part and it fits his plan. So maybe there's not such a difference between talent and skill.

Kaylee Baldwin said...

I think that we are born with talents and that we can develop new talents--but if there is not some innate ability already there, we may always struggle just a little bit more than someone who was maybe born with that particular ability.

There are lots of skills I wish I had, and that I've even practiced, but some people are just a natural at them and that's okay. I have my more natural talents, too.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Oh I do believe God gives us talents. When it comes to crafts, I bungle them all the time. But writing, not so much :)

Wish I'd known about the FHE store when my kids were young. Have fun.

Melanie Goldmund said...

I know that my second son has often been overshadowed by his more flamboyant older brother, so I recently asked him what talents he thought he had, thinking that I could encourage them more. He instantly replied, "Lying around."

I think talents must be God-given. I've always felt the need to create stories, for instance, first by talking them out and then later by writing them down. And I know I've definitely improved, the more I've done it.

I don't know about the part where you find something you want to do, then work hard at it until you can. There's that story about the one prophet who had terrible handwriting and worked until it became beautiful.

But I haven't experienced such a thing in my life. I've tried a few different things, for instance, certain sports, but sooner rather than later, I discover that I am not improving in the way I had hoped, and then I give up. I don't think I have a lot of patience, endurance, or perseverence ... at least not for sports. And yet I've managed to keep going with more intellectual endeavors, such as my writing, and with learning German. Maybe I didn't want sports badly enough? Or maybe I wasn't blessed with the right kind of body that would have enabled sports to become a talent?

Maybe you really can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, no matter how much you want it.

Oink, oink.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Melanie, you made me laugh! A silk purse . . . haha! I know what you mean, though. I know I will never be a crafter. All those crafts we made at Homemaking? I was always the pity project because mine looked so horrible the other sisters wanted to help me make it look better.

Kathi, I totally identify with you on the craft thing!

Kaylee, I agree, that's what makes it so wonderful is that we're all good at different things. We each have something that makes us unique.

T, I hadn't thought about throwing "skills" in there. So are our talents mere skills then? What is a true definition of talents? It's such an interesting topic for me to think about.

Debra Erfert said...

I need to believe that talents have a strong tie with desire. I can easily draw what I see. I remember picking up my first special pencil (without the eraser) when I was six, and with my mother’s help, created my first “masterpiece.” I doubt it was very good, but that’s why we practice--and that’s where the desire comes into play, or we wouldn’t continue to progress. Over the years my skills have grown, but it began with that seed, the gift of talent planted by God through whatever means He deemed fit. My brother could create exact copies of paintings he looked at, but he couldn’t sit still long enough to finish anything.

While I use that particular talent quite a bit, there is another craft I'm trying to cultivate: writing. This is where I’m praying that I have a latent talent. I hear voices talking over one another. My thoughts are filled with scenes of heroes saving the lady, and villains battling deceptively to win. My desire to write is strong, or I would’ve given up years ago.

I applied for a job teaching art at a Lutheran grade school a few years back, and one of the questions they asked was if I believed that all children are given the same talents. I had to answer honestly: I believe that all children of God are given talents, but they may not be the same ones. Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

It's sad you didn't get the job, Debra, but I think you're right--we are all given talents, but not the same ones. And I think you have a great talent for art, by the way. :)