The following is an excerpt from a paper I wrote for my Pneumatology class (Study of the Holy Spirit) at Ambassador Baptist College.


Spiritual gifts are not to be confused with talents.1 A spiritual gift is not a talent, though God may choose to gift a person in a particular area of expertise (i.e. athletics, music, art etc.).

  • Everyone has been given at least one talent.
  • Only Christians have a spiritual gift.
  • Talents are not spiritual gifts.
  • A talent is a natural ability.
  • A talent may be exercised for the good of all mankind; a gift is expressly for the good of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:4-8).
  • Talents can and should be developed by the individual; spiritual gifts are developed by submitting to the leadership of the Holy Ghost.

Both talents and spiritual gifts are given by God with the expectation of being profitable (1 Corinthians 12:7;  Ephesians 4:12). But they can be used differently. A spiritual gift will edify; a talent can cause strife and division (2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise).


1 From the Greek word talaton, meaning “to bear,” “a balance,” “a certain weight.”
2 Matthew 25:14-30.

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