In scripture, Christ speaks of potential in at least two significant parables. First, the parable of talents (amount of money). Second in the parable of the sower of seed. In the first, each person was given a certain number of talents. Those who invested wisely gained more talents. The first two men doubled their investment. These men were rewarded for the good stewardship of their talent investment and were given even more. The third man, however, hid his talent in the ground, buried in a clay jar, nothing was gained. Yet, there was great loss. Any talent buried, not put to use, is a waste of that talent.
In the second parable, the sower or farmer was planting the seeds. He scattered some seed on dry hard-packed ground, some on stony ground, some among the weeds and thorny ground, and others in rich fertile soil. The seed was the same. The difference was the type of ground in which the seed landed. The seed that landed in the fertile soil is the only seed that produced a verifiable harvest. That seed reached its potential by producing 30, 60, even 100 times what was planted.
Let me stretch your thinking some. Think of the seed as the potential God has entrusted to you. We all have potential. God created each one of us for greatness. Therefore, we all have the potential for reaching God’s desired level of greatness for us. We are the soil. Is your soil rich and fertile in what it takes to produce a harvest for God’s greatness? Or is it filled with weeds and thorns that choke out that harvest? Is your soil hard-packed, incapable of allowing God’s potential to take root in you?
If you’re still not certain of your potential for greatness for God, think on this next statement. Scripture says we are created in the image (likeness) of God. If God is the Creator of ALL things, and you are created in His image, do you not have the ability to be creative? Since we are created in His image, we all have been blessed with the creativity to reach our full potential through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
When we use our God-given creativity to unearth and develop our potential, God will bless us and enable us to produce a harvest for Him like the seed that fell on rich fertile soil. To achieve this type of soil we must draw near to God, study His Word, and pray at deeper, greater levels than many are willing.
Our obligation is also to assist others in becoming rich, fertile soil in which their potential can produce a vast harvest – even if their harvest surpasses ours. When, with a breaking heart, you look at others because you can see the potential that they may not yet see, that often is God’s invitation for you to be a soil enricher for that person.
As we strive to be the rich fertile soil developing to the best potential harvest possible, we must see every human being as one of God’s treasured potentials. What will you undertake today to allow God to unleash your potential and to build the potential of others?