A thought by Larry Osborne, (2009-04-10) from his book, Spirituality for the Rest of Us: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Knowing (p. 187). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
We have been sucked into this deep desire to live to our full potential, thinking that was what God wanted from us. But Larry has a different spin on it.
He says, “Potential is a harsh mistress—seductive, never satisfied, prone to exaggeration, nearly impossible to figure out. Those who pursue her inevitably end up in the poisoned land of self-centered priorities and me-first decisions.”
“But it's a quest that's often justified with pious platitudes about following God's calling and using all the gifts we've been given.”
“However, God's highest calling won't be found there. It's found on another path, far removed from the ‘me-first’ orientation of the maximized potential crowd. It's found on a seldom traveled side-road filled with opportunities for sacrifice, service, and self-denial.”
He then says, “We've all seen it: A well-schooled Christian decides that being all he or she can be is more important than keeping a promise, fulfilling commitments, or providing for an inconvenient spouse or family member. So they chuck it all to pursue their own dream. But Jesus didn't say, ‘If you love me, you'll fulfill your potential.’ He said, ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command.’ John 14:15. There's no way around it; obeying the clear commands of Scripture sometimes short-circuits our potential…. Obedience always trumps potential.”
And that is so true. That puts so much of what we think is important into perspective.
So what are you going for, potential or obedience?