Written By: Julie-Ann Sanderson
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, – Ephesians 3:20
What is potential? According to the Oxford Dictionary, one of the meanings of potential is “Latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.” It is something we all have, so why do we fail to see it in others and why do we sometimes fail to see it in ourselves?
Underestimating another person is something we are all guilty of doing. We can be blind to the abilities and talents of others especially if we have known them for a long time or we haven’t bothered to get to know them enough to realise what they are capable of doing. It is truly a case of judging a book by its cover and by failing to see their potential, we fail to help them to achieve it as well.
Failing to help others to be the person God wants them to be can also be detrimental to us. It can show others how self-centered we can be when we miss out on helping others find their potential. Our friends value our opinions and when we ignore their attempts to find out what they can do, the damage that is done can sometimes be irreparable. When we do realise what they can achieve it makes us feel sad and in some ways ashamed because we made the wrong assumptions or choices in regards to what they can or can’t do.
We all have skills and abilities that lie dormant within us and failing to find out what they are can be just as bad as failing to see them in other people. God has placed inside us everything we need to make our lives a success for both Him and us. Most of the time we start finding out what our potential is – maybe in a dream or a vision or a passion that comes from out of nowhere or in some other way. Whichever way it starts, it is up to us to recognise it and do something about it. We have to overcome fears and the failure of others to see the potential within us to use our potential for the glory of God, the one who gave it to us in the first place.
God wants us to have a life full of potential, which is more than some of us can imagine for ourselves or for others. He doesn’t want us to fail in either finding it or helping it grow. We need to learn to look for potential and to do something with it. For others, it may be encouragement, support or understanding e.g. listen to those ideas, read that story or to simply join with someone in prayer to find out if God is in it. Even if nothing comes of it, then you can go away with the knowledge that you didn’t fail the other person.
As for ourselves, when that seed of potential sprouts, we need to explore our options, seek advice from others and most of all pray to God to show us where He wants us to go. Any skill, ability or interest that we are passionate about is there for a reason. It forms part of the gift of potential God has for us and failing to see it is throwing that gift back at God.
The potential you have and the potential others have has been placed there by God to further is Kingdom. Don’t make the mistake of failing to see it.