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Natural Talent, Spiritual Gifts

by | Jul 1, 2022 | Spiritual Gifts, Talents

“The work of a Beethoven, and the work of a charwoman (cleaner), become spiritual on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God, of being done humbly “as to the Lord.”  This does not, of course, mean that it is for anyone a mere toss-up whether he should sweep rooms or compose symphonies.  A mole must dig to the glory of God and a cock must crow.” (C.S. Lewis)

I am often asked about one’s talents and how one should apply them.  I am surprised by the number of people who think that they have no useful talent that would measure up to God’s good works. Natural talents are human resources which all of us have. These are not the same as spiritual gifts which are given by sovereign choice, by the Holy Spirit, at the time we become Christians. These are supernatural enablements so that we may serve God in the world and in the church and apply our talents effectively. Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift, many are given more than one gift. All Christians are called to the work of the ministry.  Although opinions differ on the actual number of spiritual gifts, God’s Word clearly indicates a variety of gifts.

Our natural talents become spiritually effective on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God.  Even those who are unsure of their spiritual gifts will have a natural or secular talent.  The bible suggests but a few spiritual gifts, perhaps 22, but the range of secular talent increases exponentially.  Human pursuits in biblical times bear little resemblance to the abilities and talents in use today. Daughter Veronica and I will rely on the talents and skills of the air crew as we fly to Norfolk Island.  History recounts incidents of talented people who have used their gift in service to God.  The choosing of the seven disciples tells of men who used their natural abilities in God’s service (See Acts 6:1-7).

Many in later life or in retirement have administration or leadership skills.  These valuable attributes can be employed in God’s service. To preside over an assembly or lead study groups and guide the proceedings in order to preserve order  and to know how to direct the course of events towards a spiritual goal as led by the Spirit is a gift sought by all churches. Most people like to follow a good leader. God’s leaders are not only visionary, they lead by serving.  

The young have talent.  I knew a young girl who became a Christian and was an accomplished pianist – her secular talent became a spiritual gift when offered to God and used in a church situation.  The elderly have talent and more importantly experience.  There are many who give time, many who give labour, thousands who give various skills – all offered to God become gifts for the Kingdom.  Perhaps I have some writing  skills, I offer these to God.  I’m sure you have skills and talent, active or latent – offer them to God.

A Christian’s service involves the entire Trinity. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the sovereign choice of the Holy Spirit. The place of our service is chosen by the Son of God, and the workings, or style, of our ministry is determined by the Father.  This is made clear by the following passage

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord (Jesus Christ); and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God (the Father) who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Cor. 12:5-7 ESV). 

Have a good week in His service.  Will talk to you again on May 23rd,

Pastor Ron Clarke

This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement, now in its twenty-sixth year, originating from Gympie, Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week. To subscribe via email send to with the words ‘Subscribe Word (or) Subscribe Word & Study’. Our ministry is free and emailing lists are confidential. Tell a friend or why not put a note in your church newsletter or pew sheet about this ministry – we welcome new subscriptions. Pastor Ron Clarke OAM Word for the Week Mbl.: +61 488 424 321