Posted by: everynation | May 18, 2009

The Myth of the Gifted Child

wsmleaderscircle.jpgby Steve Murrell

“Your sons are so gifted.”

I’ve heard it a thousand times…
–  at William’s elementary school piano recitals – “wow, he has a musical gift”  (no, he’s practiced every day, since he was 5)
–  at James’ tennis tournaments – “I wish my son could hit a forehand like that” (try training 7 days a week, for a few of years)
– when people see Jonathan’s paintings –  “he obviously has a special gift for art” (you should have seen his “art” before we hired an art teacher to mentor him)

Yea, we have gifted kids – they were gifted with a mother who wouldn’t allow them to waste time doing nothing. And they were gifted with a father who was on a 10-year anti-TV, anti-video game kick during their formative years. That’s why they spent countless hours reading, listening to music and developing killer kick-serves.

My sons were also gifted with mentors/coaches/teachers who helped them discover and develop a few of the skills and talents that God hid in them.

Gifts are free. Talents are costly; they must be discovered and developed.

But sadly, most talent is never discovered, never developed. It is simply wasted while staring at a screen. Tragic.

What are you doing to develop your gifts and talents?
What are you doing to help develop your kid’s gifts and talents?

(i’ll never forget the tennis tournament when the father of a kid my son had just destroyed turned to me and said: “i bet you paid a lot of money for his forehand.” that father understood where the gift/talent came from – dad’s checkbook.  he was right, and it was worth every dollar/peso.)
Steve Murrell is a missionary, pastor, and the author of “The Reluctant Leader” and “The Accidental Missionary.”



  1. Hope you remember me! I’m Jerome Haywood’s wife, former Maranatha member in G’ville & Hawaii. You pastored Jerome like 500 years ago? :-) We’re living in Kansas City, attending World Revival Church. We have 3 kids and 1 niece we care for. I totally agree with your post on the myth of the gifted kids. I have a blog at about God moving our kiddos. Take a look and drop a line. Blessings, Leilani Haywood

  2. Thanks Pastor Steve for reminding me how to discover and develop my kids’ gifts and talents.

    See you at the Every Nation N.A. Conference!

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