Description of the concepts of gifts and talents

‘Talents’ and ‘gifts’ are usually also mentioned in literature and preaching about the subject ‘the gifts of the Spirit’. Encouragement is usually given to use one’s gifts and talents in church.
Whether ‘talents’ or ‘gifts of the Spirit’ are then meant by ‘gifts’ is often not very clear.

In order to prevent confusion and incorrect interpretation of The School of Life’s studies these concepts are described below.


Talents are regarded by The School of Life as the natural skills that each human being was given when he or she was conceived.
These are natural aptitudes, each person’s strong sides.

Natural skills need to be practised however, if they are to grow to full bloom.
It is possible to ignore talents or not to develop them. That is unfortunate, because the person does not then achieve his or her full potential in the area which he is ‘good’ at by nature.

The gifts of the Spirit.

‘The gifts of the Spirit’ is an expression that is generally used in the Christian world to refer to what are called ‘charisma’ in Greek and is translated by ‘spiritual gifts’.

The expression ‘gifts of the Spirit’ does not appear in the New Testament however and will therefore not be used in The School of Life’s studies.

In connection with the Holy Spirit the Bible speaks of ‘spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit’.

This is extensively discussed in the study about ‘Spiritual Gifts’.


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Description of the concepts of gifts and talents.