The Difference Between Gifting & Skill Is In The Details


I believe it is the answer to the long asked question “What determines the difference between born gifting and learned skill?”.

For years people have wondered why knowledge in a certain area of study wasn’t (and still isn’t) the deciding factor. They didn’t understand why people with no learned skill can outperform a student of technical excellence. They couldn’t grasp the situation when a stupid nobody outsells them, or when a new employee suddenly is at the top of the ladder, or even when a product becomes more popular then anyone else’s…even though it does far less than everyone else’s. they couldn’t understand that it wasn’t knowledge that made one person better at something.

It was details.

People who have a born gifting for something naturally see and work in details. It’s the little things that separate them from all the others. It’s the details that make them unique, memorable and in most cases, better than other people.

People with born giftings don’t have a box that they think in. That’s the problem with learned skill. They are taught they have to do this and that. You can’t teach gifting. You can’t get someone to pay attention and focus on all the details. It’s not a learned thing.

My last boss is a great example of the difference between gifting and skill. He is both a graphic designer and a programmer, which as many people know are two totally separate worlds. He has spent years working by designing ads and corporate identity packages and has spent years learning about programming in his spare time. Yet when you look at all the ads he has built, while they look visually pleasing, they do not look visually exciting. There is no intricate details in his design work. He has learned how to build a good ad, but cannot feel and therefore has no idea what would make the ad great.

His programming on the other hand is an entirely different issue. Although he lacks much skill (he freely admits that if a ‘real’ programmer were to look at his work, he would think it was a joke and laugh hysterically), he is incredibly detailed in it. What his programs do but also how they look (coding-wise) is all reflective in this. Someone with no background or knowledge of programming could look at his code and understand what each section of code does. It’s extremely easy to search and read. Why? Because even though he doesn’t have much skill, he has a talent for it and what gives it away?


Details are what separates a good musician from a great musician, a good artist from a great artist or a good speaker from a great speaker. Now it is incredibly beneficial for someone with talent to learn the skill. My art teacher always used to say “you must learn the rules before you can break them”. But learning the skills is not a requirement cause remember, people with talent will make things differently and more naturally than society’s standards, which are built on learned skill.

I encourage everyone to (1) find out what they love to do and (2) what they are picky and extremely detailed in. Then take those things and perfect it. Have fun with it. Experiment with it. In reality, those things (what I am calling talent) is what makes you different and it’s what you can give to the world that’s different. God gives us all talents, and contrary to what society tries to tell us, you can’t learn a talent.


One comment on “The Difference Between Gifting & Skill Is In The Details

  1. Donna says:

    Add to born gifting — God’s anointing. If you are seeking God with all your heart, He WILL direct your paths. As we yield to Him, He increases our anointing in an area. He has also cautioned musicians (in Psalms) to “play skillfully,” which is a great indication that learned skill on top of born gifting is an excellent use of one’s time.Staying outside the box is critical. As a classroom teacher (degreed, but w/o certifications), I seemed to have a wonderful impact on students who were poor students in other schools, but suddenly “came to life” in their academic pursuits. I decided to pursue my master’s degree in educational leadership at Stetson. Quite a few teachers (some at our school, some were parents who taught in other schools) came to me begging me not to take these classes. In their opinion, I was a wonderful natural teacher, and they felt the master’s program would ruin that.I have seen a several teachers who were non-degreed (including my daughter-in-law) who excelled in the classroom. Unbeatable. Way above the standard of most degreed teachers.The gifting, the anointing of God in their lives, and their love for what they were doing set (and continues to set) them apart from other teachers.However, training can increase their skill, shore up weak areas (we all have them — like those who tend to BANG on the piano, or ignore certain danger signs in a classroom), and produce an intuitive, God-lead, individual with the knowledge of what the box is, so that he/she can stay OUT of the box. Gifted people can get into their own box and not even realize.

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