Every Child is Gifted

God, who is unbounded wisdom, gives this intelligence to all His children, not just some. We must each claim the gift and our "giftedness." It begins with knowing our God-given heritage.

By Caryl W. Krueger

Categories: Paul, School

Labels! Teachers, educational writers, parents -- all seem intent on labeling kids. The list is endless: genius, disabled, ADHD, gifted, slow, immature, advanced. Being an active boy, a graceful girl, a diligent student is no longer enough. Some try to pigeon-hole each child, forgetting their uniqueness. But parents who know and love the Bible know that every child is gifted, gifted in a rainbow of ways, gifted in the highest sense of the word.

Being gifted has nothing to do with genes or home background or an exceptional school. Consider the Old Testament's Adah who had gifted sons - and I doubt they had a tutor or mentor or an uncle with "connections." Her story, in Genesis 4:19-22, tells how son Jabal was the first to establish a pastoral life, while his brother Jubal was creative musically, playing several instruments. A step-brother Tubal-cain was talented at forging cutting instruments of copper or bronze. Legend or truth, the point is that being gifted finds its origin in the grace of God.

The Bible is filled with examples of the expression of great intelligence when the recipient acknowledges the parenthood of God. Early in Solomon's reign, he specifically asked God to help him express wisdom and we all know the result when he settled a dispute between two women over the motherhood of a baby. Solomon was a talented governor, politician, negotiator, builder, writer. In the book of Proverbs, usually attributed to him, he speaks of the necessity "to perceive the words of understanding....justice, and judgment...." (Proverbs 1: 2, 3).

Today, do we and our children daily acknowledge God as wisdom and ask to express it? God, who is unbounded wisdom, gives this intelligence to all His children, not just some. Since God's creation is all-good, there can't be a deprived child when we regularly acknowledge each child's true inheritance. In Psalm 111: 10, it says the Commandments are the foundation of our wisdom. Are children sloughing off these rules as irrelevant to today's living? If so, they are missing out on the blessings of obedience.

Wisdom is the answer to today's challenges of competition, terrorism, depression. In Ecclesiastes 9:18, there is this interesting statement: "Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sin destroyeth much good." Are the sins of laziness, discouragement, and inattention destroying "the good" that is ever-available to today's youth? Are kids spending as much time trying to increase their spirituality as they do trying to increase their popularity?

Being "too young" is no excuse. Jesus preached in the temple at age 12 and Timothy was Paul's assistant at about age 15. Paul tells him to "neglect not the gift that is in thee....." And to be "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed...." (I Timothy 4:14 and II Timothy 2:15.) And further advice for students comes in I Thessalonians 4:11: ".....study to be quiet, and do your own business, and to work with your own hands....". Note that word "quiet" -- it doesn't mean that every waking moment must be filled with computer games, television, sports practices, meandering cell phone calls. This is ignoring the gift!

If someone put a wonderful gift in front of your child, he or she would probably not ignore it. We are usually eager to open the gift and use it. In Ecclesiastes 3: 12, 13, we are reminded to rejoice, do good, enjoy work - it is all "the gift of God." And Paul states the greatest gift: "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

So, as parents and students, we must claim the gift and our "giftedness." It is there, it is available when we base the understanding of every school subject and every hoped-for talent on reliance on God's wisdom. Putting God first, and yes, praying before doing homework or taking a test or playing a game, will make a huge difference in the results. As it says in II Corinthians 9:15: "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." So accept the gift for your children and yourself.