Talent Verses Training

Lately I have spent a lot of time watching football. My four sons are on three different teams and of course we are watching the Packers. Then whenever we have a quiet moment at home I turn on the TV and watch any game that is being played.

Having watched a lot of football ranging from kids in Pee Wee football through professional players who make the hall of fame I have come to a couple of conclusions. First, some people are naturally talented. I have watched and read about the great Bo Jackson who never really worked out and lifted weights yet had amazing strength. I know of KC great Derrick Thomas who hated to practice and often treated it like a joke. I could go on and on with names of people who were just born with something special.

The second thing I notice is that there are some people who can develop themselves through training. Sure they have some natural talent but it is often limited. As a result they commit themselves to countless hours of training. They throw the ball over 10,000 times to get it right. They kick the ball over and over. They lift weights and maintain special diets. They work, work and work some more until they get it right.

The reality is that professional level of skill can be given by God but for most people it is formed as the result of long-term training.

Honestly, I think this reality is true in every area of life – not just football (or sports in general).

If you want to know your Bible more, you can learn through repeated training.

If you want to be a kind person, you can learn that through repeated activity.

If you want to be a generous person, you can learn that too.

If you want to be a better spouse, better parent or better child, those things too can be learned through repeated effort.

The good news is that you can be trained to do almost anything.

I firmly believe that in life some people have unbelievable natural ability. God has blessed them with gifts and talents other people may not have.

But I also believe God has given each of us the opportunity to learn. We can be almost anything we want to be in life – if we will commit ourselves to the hard work of repeated actions to develop an ability. The real question is not “can I do that?” Rather it is “am I willing to work hard enough to do that?”

So – What do you want to do today?

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