Satan tried to destroy Curtis Carroll’s potential. He attempted to snuff it out from right underneath him, and almost succeeded too. The first time Curtis was told he had potential was by a relative after he committed a petty robbery at the age of fourteen. At age seventeen he was illiterate; worse, he was sent to prison for robbery/murder. In prison Curtis taught himself to read and how to understand financial markets and stocks. He then began to teach other inmates how to plan for their future through financial investments and co-founded the project FEEL, a financial and emotional literacy program grounded in the philosophy of “Financial Empowerment Emotional Literacy.”
Initially is seemed Satan’s attack on this young man succeeded, but God intervened. With some decisive action by Curtis and God’s help his potential was not all lost. Learn more about Curtis’ story here.
In a previous post, we talked about the fact that you have treasure buried within you. We said that part of your treasure is your potential. We also said that potential refers to “dormant ability…reserved power… untapped strength…unused success…hidden talents…capped capability”. I told you that we were created for good works, which God has planned in advance for us to do and that our potential is the vehicle by which we will perform those works and fulfil God’s plan and purpose for our lives. Finally, I told you that Satan wants to destroy anything good that God has placed within you and therefore he wants to destroy your potential, thus you need to safeguard your potential and avert his attack. This week I want to look at some ways in which you can safeguard your potential.
Take Immediate Action
It is my view that the number one way to safeguard your potential is to take action. Let us consider the story of the talents in Matthew chapter 25 once more. The servants were given talents (gold, money) each according to his ability (v.15). “The one who received the five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five more and so did the one who received two bags of gold” (v.16). They went to work immediately! They did not procrastinate, fool around, doubt themselves or their abilities or even listen to naysayers. They went to work, and as a result, they doubled what they had. Satan can’t take or destroy what you have if you are working on it, it only multiplies. So, get to work! Begin working today on harnessing and developing your potential, then get out there and do the good works that God has planned for you to do. The world needs you!
Safeguard your potential by not giving in to fear. Remember I told you in a previous post that fear is just False Emotions Appearing Real. Giving in to fear will only paralyze you and prevent you from taking the action you need to in order to develop and make the best use of your potential. The end result will be the destruction and loss of your potential. Refer once again to the foolish servant of Matt. 25 who buried his treasure in the ground.
You safeguard your potential by staying focused. Do not allow distractions to cause you to take your eyes off your goals and your dreams. The distractions of today are many, there is no need for me to list them for you because you know what they are. I encourage you to keep your focus. If your goal is to read ten pages of a book everyday as part of your strategy in developing your potential, then do so. Do not allow the television or social media to distract you. If your goal is to save a particular sum of money per month so that you can eventually have enough to start up that business you have been dreaming of, then do so. Let starting your business be your focus when you are tempted to buy that extra item of clothing or that gadget that you don’t really need or when tempted to spend extra money socializing that you know you did not budget for.
Do not allow family, friends, negative people and naysayers to distract and discourage you. When Nehemiah and others were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and the naysayers began to mock them and ask, “what do you think you are doing?” They did not throw their hands in the air and give up, they did not doubt their plan and ability to get the job done, they did not question their dream. Nehemiah rebutted, “the God of heaven will give us success”, (Neh. 2). You have got to be willing to go against the crowd sometimes and rely on your God, your dream and your ability. Your potential, your dream, they have been given to you for a reason and there is somebody who need them. You can make a difference in somebody’s life because of them.
The Enemy Within
There is an African proverb which says, “when there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. This I believe is the most detrimental to your potential and thus you should safeguard yourself against it. Too many times we despise ourselves, talk bad to ourselves and put ourselves down. God tells us yes we can, but we say to ourselves, no we can’t. God says, “I have already equipped you for the task”, but we say we are inadequate and afraid. God says, “you are enough and my grace is sufficient for you”, but we compare ourselves to others and say, “I am not as good as them, they are stronger than I.” God says, “I am with you, take the leap”, we say, “I am a failure, I will never be able to do it.”
Safeguard your potential by avoiding negative thinking and negative self-talk. Norman Vincent Peale said, “change your thoughts and you change your world.” Changing our thoughts will take a lot of practice and it means meditating and relying consistently on God’s Word; on what He says about you, but you can do it. Challenge yourself to become conscious of your negative thoughts and to rebut each negative thought with a positive one or with a promise from the Word of God. Remember I said it will take time, but you can do it. So do not become upset with yourself when you slip up, just acknowledge it and move on. Be kind and gentle with yourself, just as you would with a friend.
Gandhi said, “a man is the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes.” Proverbs 23:7 puts it this way, “as he thinketh in his heart so is he.” Be the watcher of your thoughts, you have the power to choose your thoughts. Whenever you realize they aren’t the right thoughts, choose to change them, think new thoughts.
Safeguard your potential by taking action, avoiding fear, avoiding distractions and staying focused and by being careful with your thoughts.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words, watch your words, they become actions, watch your actions they become habits, watch your habits they become your character, watch your character it becomes your destiny. ~ Gandhi
I have highlighted only a few things that you can do to safeguard your potential. I encourage you to do your own introspection, identify threats specific to your own potential and decide what you need to do to safeguard yourself against them.
You are special, you are important, you are carrying great treasure within you and you have been chosen for good works, prepared for you in advance. Rise up and go forth!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you enjoyed it please share with a friend and subscribe so you can be notified of future posts. Till next time, be safe and be blessed. 😊