This world is full of people who perform diverse tasks. Each one attends to their tasks in a special way, in particular if they hold several talents to assist them in completing their tasks. Furthermore, such talents may be enhanced into spiritual gifts by means of the Holy Spirit.
For many years I used to hold a mental conception of what talents and spiritual gifts should be. I held the mental conception that talents were both skills and abilities that a person had ingrained within their biometrics; they were born with them. Additionally, talents appeared to manifest themselves when the "right" task was paired-off with that person. Such a task could be playing an musical instrument, creative writing, or carving wood to resemble an animal. Although the possessor of these talents could receive a form of instruction towards their refinement, they would still be considered to possessors of those talents.
On the other end of the spectrum, I held the mental conception that spiritual gifts were specialized abilities from God that were placed upon chosen people by means of the Holy Spirit. Additionally, the spiritual gifts were mostly long-term for people who worked in the roles of pastor, preacher, evangelist, Bible teacher, and missionary. However, if the person carrying-out the role failed to do so under God's standards, then God would remove the spiritual gifts from that person (along with their role) and place them upon someone else (e.g. King Saul to King David).
In doing some thematic Bible reading, I encountered several scriptures scriptures that further stirred my curiosity. The scriptures come from the book of Exodus 31:1-6; 35:30 - 36:1 (chapter no. : verse no.). I will address the first few verses; "I have filled him [Bezaleel] with the Spirit of god, in wisdom, understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship." The term "workmanship" entails the skills and abilities (talents) to work with gold, silver, bronze, jewels, and wood. Yet, for many years, I have thought of these talents as being learned, perhaps after several years of training through the role of apprenticeship and further on, through the years (refining the talents by means of experience). Yet, in these verses, we have God demonstrating to me a contrast.
I am now faced with a challenge to my conception of thought. Hence, I have embarked in learning more about the matter by using Bible commentaries, a time of reflection, prayer, and dreams. Consequently, I have come to gain a greater appreciation for people who study soil and construct temples, Bible schools, vocational training centers, orphanages, radio stations, and the like. Talents have been instilled into the people who take part in the multiple processes that lead towards the edification of one of the buildings that was mentioned previously. However, when such talents are used towards the advancement of God's kingdom as well as bring glory and Honor to Him, there appears to be a special enhancement of such talents that escorts them the spectrum of spiritual gifts.
I now acknowledge that God exercises His instilling of talents and further enhanced spiritual gifts in accordance to His purposes. Although there may be a greater visibility of some talents within "religious" and "spiritual" environments, such as a congregational meeting, there is no justification by which to rule-out that God would not instill talents and spiritual gifts upon a person who would carry-out tasks of "practical service", such as cleaning the temple. I have also been reminded by the Holy Spirit that those people whom He has purposed to get formal training (e.g. apprenticeship or academic) are not to limit themselves in using their training for practical service or secular employment. Instead, they are to seek God over receiving the talent or spiritual gift so that they may teach, build-up, and encourage others who seek knowledge and a desire to work in the area of such specialization.
In closing, God capacitate people with talents and spiritual gifts to serve His purposes. Whether that person is one who preaches from a pulpit on a Sunday morning or picks-up trash at the end of the congregational meeting. God instilled within each person that which they need to accomplish their tasks. As such, I am grateful to Him for all the talents and spiritual gifts He has given me. I am also grateful for all of the people He brought into my life to further develop my talents and guide me with my spiritual gifts.
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R. A. Gómez