When we hear the term “potential,” we tend to connect it to who we could be and what we could possibly achieve. As a life-long athlete and former college basketball player, I also used to view potential as something I was supposed to reach on the court or in the classroom. My whole life, I remember my teachers and coaches telling me certain steps to take in order to reach that ever so high mountain top of potential. A place I could finally look down and exclaim, “I made it! I have reached my potential and there is nowhere else to go from here!” As I thought about it, though, I began to question the whole methodology of reaching one’s potential and I actually began to disagree with it in a way. Now, from my experiences I believe that God has more for us to achieve every waking second we’re alive on this earth. I believe our potential must be grounded in who we serve and how we serve day in and day out. If we decide to serve ourselves every day then we will see very little progress being made. If we serve with no genuineness then our lives will have no real value to them. As a follower of Christ I know where my potential comes from, but I also understand the value that my God can keep adding to my potential due to my faithfulness and obedience. With all of this said, God has placed three keys on my heart that I believe if truly applied to our lives we can unlock more and more potential every single day.
1. LIVE GENEROUSLY
The first thing people think of when they hear the word “give” or “generous” is money. It scares people. Because people want to keep what is theirs and use it for their own livelihood. The amazing thing about it though is that living generously does not have to be about money at all. Giving of your time and talents can be used just as much or more by God if our hearts are in the right place. Living a life of service to others I believe draws us closer to Christ because Jesus was a servant himself here on Earth. Living generously allows us to put ourselves to the side and serve others. This obedience gives us the opportunity to be truly used by God which begins to take our potential to another level.
2. NEVER PUT A CEILING ON YOUR POTENTIAL
No matter how old you are or how successful/unsuccessful you may be, God always has more for you in your walk with Him. We as Christians should never be satisfied and think that we have arrived. There is always more to improve. Placing a ceiling on your potential portrays the image that God can no longer take your impact on the world to new heights. We have a duty to never become complacent in our lives especially when there is a great amount to be done every day. Don’t limit yourself due to what you think you can’t do, but live every day with a passion that shows the limitless power of God. Not only are we impacted by this, but others around us who need help are affected by this as well.
3. LIVE A LIFE OF HONOR
When we are consistently honoring the authority God has put in our lives then God is going to bless that behavior. Honoring the authority that you may not even agree with or get along with still honors God which draws us closer to him. God has placed the people in authority in your life for a reason and we have an obligation to humble ourselves before them. Also, one of the key aspects of learning how to be a leader is learning how to follow the correct way. Showing honor to your parents, teachers, coaches, supervisors, and anyone else for that matter unlocks tons of potential in our lives. For example, in the Bible we see the story of Daniel and how he is faced with a choice to stop worshipping God and praying to Him. Something we tend to overlook is that through the whole story Daniel never stops respecting and honoring the king. Daniel continues to respect the very authority that is telling him to turn away from God because he understood that God had placed that king there for a reason. Did Daniel listen to the king’s orders? No! But Daniel never disrespected the king all the while standing up for his Lord and Savior.