I’ve heard a lot about “spiritual gifts” and “natural talents,” but I never sat down to compare the difference between both of them until I began researching for this series of teachings.
As I grew in my faith at church, I would hear people talk about spiritual gifts. It seems like everyone had amazing gifts like singing, playing an instrument, or teaching. I thought all of these were natural talents, but it was the Christian thing to say everything is a “gift from God.”
But then when I started seeing talents come out of me that I had no clue I had, it made me wonder if these talents were inside of me all along, or if they appeared because God gifted them to me when I gave myself to Him.
We all get our gifts and talents from God, and knowing the difference between both of them will give us a greater appreciation for the calling over our business lives. They have very different meanings for the work we do, and the work our employees, vendors, and contractors do for us.
Everyone has talents in the business. Some are great at analyzing financial spreadsheets because they are Math wizards. Some of us are great at putting words together to create great stories. Others are talented in art and can design amazing logos.
Sure, some are better than others in different fields, but we all possess talents that useful in varying degrees compared to each other.
But how do we know if talent is natural or if it’s a spiritual gift?
Let’s see what God’s Word has to say about gifts and talents.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:3-8)
So, what is the difference between a spiritual gift and natural talents in business?
Gifts are Received, Business Talents are Inherited
President Donald Trump was born into an entrepreneurial family. Generations before him were doing business in farming and real estate. He inherited business talents from his family. You also see this in families that fish, farm, or even do accounting. My accountant is a father, son, and cousins all talented in crunching numbers.
Natural talents are inherited from family and passed along through generations. They are naturally occurring in our genetics.
On the other hand, spiritual gifts come from the Spirit of God within us. This is why it’s called a gift – we received it when we gave our lives to Christ. It was our gift from God to celebrate YOU and the work He’s going to entrust you to go through your business.
Spiritual gifts are given at your spiritual birth, natural gifts come from your natural birth.
Why is this important to know as a Godpreneur business owner? Because knowing yourself and your employees will help you put them in the right seat of your business.
Spiritual Gifts are for the Saved / Talents are for the Saved and Unsaved
When you do business in the marketplace, you’ll either do business with saved or unsaved. They will both be talented individuals, and those talents can be of great use in your business. Additionally, if they are saved, then you can also count on some kind of spiritual gift that they can bring to the business.
- The word of wisdom
- The word of knowledge
- Faith (extraordinary trust and surrender)
- Gifts of healing
- The effecting of miracles
- The distinguishing of spirits
- The interpretation of tongues
- Pastoral care
But there’s a major difference in the showing of gifts versus talents.
Gifts are a Surprise and Get Sweeter over Time, Talents are Expected, and Get Better over Time
I was a talented leader growing up. I was president of my school and served in many leadership roles. When I became Christian, my leadership multiplied, and my influence and wisdom skyrocketed because God transformed my leadership talent into a spiritual leadership gift. I could have gotten better as a leader without God, but instead of me becoming better God made me wiser and more people wanted to be around me and led by me, and I matured in my relationship with God. I was totally surprised when I saw my leadership abilities exponentially grow!
The bible says:
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:14-16 NIV)
We Godpreneurs have been gifted by God to accomplish something great in our industry and marketplaces. This is why we all need to expect the unexpected! But we need to use our gifts wisely because the enemy wants to confuse your gifts for talents for his own purposes too!
Gifts have a Purposed-Focused Use, Talents Can be Used Selfishly
We each need to use our gifts on business to shine the light of Christ. This is how we’ll experience true purpose and meaning in our businesses.
But we need to be careful because many of us don’t use our spiritual gifts (exactly what the enemy wants), and we sit back and expect the other “more spiritual” people to do the heavy lifting of ministering in the marketplace.
We Godpreneurs recognize that our gifts are to be used for amazing reasons and we continue to explore that and grow that gift.
Godpreneur Rule – Godpreneurs grow in our faith to enhance our spiritual gifts and serve more in the marketplace.