Friday, June 06, 2008

Something I've Been Pondering



TALENT - just how exactly does one define talent? How do we recognize our natural, God-given talents? And is there a difference between those talents and our created talents that are the result of hours and hours of practice?

Isabelle and I were discussing how God gives us all special talents and abilities and how it is our duty to use those for His glory. She asked me what I thought her special talents were and I wasn't sure how to answer. It's not that she's not talented. Believe me, quite the opposite in fact. But, would it be pigeon-holing her to say what I believe her talents are? And some of the "talents" she has today may not always be viewed as talents as she ages.

The more I ponder on this and the more I try to make sense of it all, the more questions arise. I would love to make something coherent out of all this muddled mess in my head right now, but I just don't even know where to begin. So, I'm asking for help. If anyone has a thought on any of these questions, please share them with me!

Oh, and one more thing to ponder. This is my favorite quote form my favorite book:

"Talent lies around in us like kindling waiting for a match."

~ Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety

6 comments:

Dani 10:37 AM  

That is a great question, one I have pondered on myself from time to time. Mostly b/c I don't feel I have any talents. However, I think I confuse the talents that God gives us , with the ones we can practice to get really good at.

I can't wait to see what some of you other readers have to say.

Alisa 4:56 PM  

I think that each person is able to do at least one thing really well. I think talents can be God-given or developed with lots of practice and hard work. Some of the most talented people I know work their tushes off to be so. Interesting question.

5intow 1:06 AM  

Very thought provoking. I think this may encompass a number of topics, making it more complex. We sometimes lump it all together, but there is a difference between talents, skills, spiritual gifts (distinct from the fruit of the spirit), character, personality, etc. Many of these could fall under 'talent' in a conversation about our strengths.

I don't think I would hesitate too much in sharing strengths in my children, as long as they don't develop a prideful outlook from it. I do think that at various stages in life we excel on different fronts, and should not stick ourselves in one area blindly forever.

In my adult years my dad has commented on some of my strengths that I never recognized and kind of wish he had pointed them out long ago. It did give me confidence that he who had known me my whole life saw that in me.

How wonderful to be able to have these conversations with our children while we still have years ahead to help them grow and walk in His footsteps.

Please share more of what God uses to 'unmuddle' your thoughts.

Thanks for pricking my thinking,
Erin

Kirstin 10:35 AM  

I think it's good to let our kids know what we think their strengths are. And to also encourage them to try new things. God created us with abilities and desires. He's a creative God and I think He loves it when we're creative. Sometimes even if I'm sure my girls have a "talent" for something, but are showing an interest, I'll encourage them to try it and pursue doing it. And I'll build them up all the way. I think even what we deem "god given" talent will need some training in the natural to hone. So I'm not sure I'd seperate God given talent and "us" made talent since He's the one who created "us" in the first place.

chiara 7:01 PM  

One thing that my piano teacher used to say to me is: "talent = 99% hard work." He used that as a way of letting me know that if I work hard enough, that hard work can turn to talent. He also used that to warn my brother that if he continues to rely on his "talent" but doesn't practice (the hard work of learning an instrument), he won't get very far.

Candace @ A Garden of Blessings 7:30 AM  

Kate,
Have you read Shepparding a Child's Heart?
It's what came to mind when I read your question. Self-esteem can be a slippery slope to pride.
I would focus on finding scripture and prayer (concerning spiritual gifts)with your daughter.
We all want to know what we are good at, don't we?
God will show us how He wants us to use our gifts if we open our hearts and stay focused on Him.

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