Igniting Your Potential

August 9, 2018

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.  Psalm 127:3-4


Sometimes genius is slow coming to the surface. Think your youngster is a slow learner?  It’s possible he’s just not interested in the trivial. The fact is that many of our most famous people showed no indications of being outstanding when they were young.  To the contrary, many of them, like Thomas Edison, were actually considered slightly slower than their contemporaries.  Two of the world's best loved humorists, Will Rogers and Mark Twain, showed little interest either in school or in humor in their early years.  As a child, Albert Einstein was slow in learning to talk; then as a boy he was considered backward.  Ignace Paderewski, the great Polish pianist, was in his late teen years before he showed any interest in learning to play the piano.

What happens to cause somebody's potential to ignite?  Something sparks his interest, and then that latent genius and talent begin to develop.  Sometimes an individual is challenged, and it is the challenge which motivates the person to excellence. Certainly this was true of Henry Ford II, the grandson of the great automobile engineer.  When Ford was at Yale, he flunked all of his engineering courses.  He was a first‑class playboy who spent his time flashing beautiful cars and lots of money.  He finally dropped out of college and never did get his degree.  Then a crisis arose.  His father, who was president of the Ford Company, suddenly died.  The founder of the company, Henry Ford, gambled on his grandson and put him in charge.  The results startled everyone.  Production rose swiftly.  Success followed success.  In a few years, young Henry was hailed as one of the world's shrewdest businessmen.  He had what it took and rose to the challenge.

Almost all of us face challenges every day, and how we react to them reveals what we are made of.  In a sense, the difficulties or the challenges we face are like fires that refine metal.  The fire burns up the dross and refines the silver.  Your mental attitude and what you believe that God wants you to accomplish is the difference between being highly motivated and drifting towards failure in life.

If you resign yourself to just getting by, if you can live with being a failure, then go and walk in the well-worn rut.  But if you want to rise above mediocrity and soar with the eagles, then do something.  With reason the Bible says, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to be patient.  And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it, until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady" (Romans 5:3,4, Living Bible).

Take a good look at the scorecard of your life and see where you stand.  All of us, no matter how hard we try, cannot produce the accomplishments of an Einstein or an Edison.  They were the one‑hundred‑fifty-watt bulbs.  But if you are a sixty-watt, burn for all you are worth, and do not settle for anything less.

God expects your very best, not your second best.  If you are a college student and make only C's when you could be making A's or B's, you are failing yourself and God.  If you are a salesman who could produce half again as many sales as you are producing now, you are displeasing God.  The Bible says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

God's Word, the Bible, gives us the motivation, the guidelines for living that we need.  A half‑hearted approach to life, a take‑it‑or‑leave-it attitude, neither pleases God nor makes a person successful in life.  Think about it.


Resource reading: Psalm 127:1-5

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