Great American pianist, Roger Williams, once said that “The greatest crime in the world is not developing your potential. When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself but the world.” There are many today who see development in any field as benefiting the person instead of persons. In the Harvard Business Review, Robert Steven Kaplan wrote that many ambitious professionals often spend a substantial amount of time thinking about strategies that will help them achieve greater levels of success. They strive for a more impressive job title, higher compensation, and responsibility for more sizable revenues, profits, and numbers of employees. Their definitions of success are often heavily influenced by family, friends, and colleagues.

Another writer, founder of Media Monsoon, Joseph Summers, says that the first challenge a person must face is realizing where their true potential lies. Once discovered, they must cultivate their skills using effective strategies. First and foremost, they must uncover exactly where their potential lies. It’s going to be a deeply personal search and they must be completely honest with themselves. It doesn’t necessarily have to align with their current skills or qualifications, but it must resonate with them. Each of us knows where our talents lie, those are the ones to push toward excellence.

And Vincent Tan, writer for the HealthMoneySuccess Magazine, offers important steps in helping a person clear their doubts, build their confidence, and find the sleeping potential within them. First, a person must make a conscious choice to pursue personal growth. Secondly, they must set a goal to work toward. Thirdly, they should begin with baby steps. Fourthly, keep a list of advances and successes. This starts with completing all the tasks on their advancement list. And fifthly, establish their own standard of excellence they are aiming for. Don’t let others tell you whether or not you’ve reached a satisfactory goal.

But I also like what I found in Richard Rice who taught at Ambassador College in California, bound all of his lectures into Mr. Rice’s Notebook on how to develop your full potential. He states that God has given mankind a supreme goal which will result in perfection: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt 5:48). The word “perfect” used in this verse actually means “to finish the task, to make it complete.” But to achieve this ultimate spiritual goal — and any other lesser physical goals in life — all Christians must focus their mind firmly on God and Jesus Christ. All areas of life must be viewed from this perspective: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well!” (Matt. 6:33) There are only two dimensions our goals in life can seek: the physical or the spiritual. We must emphasize one or the other. If we emphasize the physical over and above the spiritual, we will eventually lose everything — even the fleeting physical goals we seek. But, if we emphasize the spiritual, we can gain everything — both spiritual and physical! The following principles are given as help and aid to the Christian man, as he seeks to develop his full potential and attain the goals which life sets before him.

Mr. Rice then offers the following points in achieving that effort to always do the best you can with the best that you have. One: Make walking with God your highest ambition and supreme desire. Two: Keep your eye on the ultimate goal – standing before God to give an account of yourself. Three: Learn to be humble and let God be proud of your progress. Four: Be acutely aware of what enters your mind that influences how your character is formed. Five: Create a mental image of the person you wish to become, using Jesus as your model. Six: Determine your overall goal – what is it you want most of all to give God to use in helping those around you. Seven: Remember all the things you’ve accomplished in life with God’s help. Eight: Whatever you become involved in doing, strive for excellence – don’t settle for mediocrity. Nine: Follow through with what you started until you finish what you began. Ten: Become an accomplished learner in some field – be really good at what you do.

Always keep this in mind, not only are others watching you but God has His eye on you. Being faithful to a task or goal is what impresses God the most. Do you have to be as good or equal to others in the same areas of service? No! You are trying to measure up to God’s standard. Remember the words of the wise King Solomon who stated that there are ways in life that look harmless enough. But look again, it may be leading in the wrong direction. Sure, those people who take the easy way out may appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.[1]

Let the Holy Spirit be your Guide – that’s the reason He was sent. Let the Bible be your road map – it will always point you to the right path. And let your spirit be aligned with God’s spirit as your compass – it will never take you in the wrong direction. Here’s the message the Apostle Paul gave to young Timothy: For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of enduring hardships for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

[1] Proverbs 14:12-13

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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