Reaching Our Potential

He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak                                                     Isaiah 40:29

Often, other people see things in us that we do not see in ourselves. One of the things that I do as a counselor is get to know my clients, and try to see in them things that they may not see for themselves. Indeed, clients give me permission to speak into their lives, giving them constructive feedback, as well as encouragement. It is an act of humility on the part of a client to give such permission, especially to someone that they do not know. They are showing a level of trust in me before they even know me. I deeply appreciate that trust, and it is my job to honor that by being truthful, holding their best interest at stake, keeping their information confidential, and seeing them as God does as best I can.

As people unfold their story to me, I can gradually get to know how they see the world. I also begin to see strengths in them that they may not see, or maybe they have never given the chance to develop. It is my job to look for those strengths so that we can employ them in dealing with problems, or helping them to manage those strengths better. Remember, strengths to an extreme can become weaknesses, so we must learn to manage those strengths well.

We saw when Jesus chose his disciples that he picked people who were not, in the world’s eyes, the most successful people, or the most learned people. Yet Jesus saw something in them that they did not see in themselves.

John, for example, was called, along with his brother, “a son of thunder” because he had a volatile temper, and an arrogant view about his position in life. Simon, later called Peter, was an exuberant, impulsive, man who frequently spoke before he thought.  He was not the most stable of people in making commitments.

Yet Jesus saw in them characteristics that they did not see themselves. Their affiliation with Jesus transformed them into the men they could be. Jesus had seen that potential, and he spoke that into them.

John later became the loving apostle who wrote such beautiful commentary on how we should love one another. Volatile Simon became “Peter, the Rock”, the one on whom Jesus said he would help build his church. Imagine Simon hearing that he was a “rock”- a solid, capable man of strength. Sometimes, when we hear about the person who we CAN become, we DO become that person.

Of course, this works both ways. Tomorrow we look into more stories of how others can speak into our lives- both to our benefit and to our detriment.

Prayer: Father, Thank you for people who see things in us that we do not see for ourselves. Give us the humility to receive it well, Amen.

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