“Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” I Timothy 6:12

I understand my parents a whole lot better these days. It’s amazing how that happens once you have kids of your own. I remember thinking when I was a kid that my parents really just wanted to ruin my life, to keep me from having fun. I thought that their expectations were unrealistic and unfair. I got yelled at a lot – at least, I thought so – and I felt, much of the time, like I was a disappointment. Of course, that wasn’t what my parents intended to tell me at all, even if that was how I saw it at the time.

As a parent, I see things much differently these days. Sometimes I find myself having conversations with Michaela that seem calm and reasonable to me, but when I glance at her face, I can tell she is thinking that I am being unfair or trying to ruin her fun… which, truly, is not the case.

What happens is that, as parents, we see potential in our kids. We see the promise of what they could be or what they could do, and we see it more clearly than they do. We see their skills and talents in a way they cannot, so when we talk to them, we are trying to help them see that potential, to motivate them in the direction of  their best selves. But for someone that doesn’t see their own potential as clearly, such high expectations can seem exceedingly unfair.

Pastors do the same thing. They look out at a congregation, and they see potential. They see the ability for that gathering of Christ-followers to to be even better versions of themselves, to do even more for the kingdom of God. That comes across, on occasion, as unfair, as an unrealistic expectations. But the reality is, friends, your pastor can see the potential that is within you, the things that you cannot see, the things you think, maybe don’t exist.

Paul saw tremendous potential in Timothy. He left this young Christ-follower in charge of a whole church while Paul continued on his missionary travels. When Paul visited or wrote letters to Timothy, we can see just how much time he spends encouraging him to keep fighting, to claim his eternal life now, because Timothy, as gifted a leader as he was, could not see his own potential staring him in the face. And, as a parent and as a pastor, there is little more frustrating than wasted potential.

You, yes you, you reading this note –> YOU! have tremendous, untapped potential that you may have never even considered. As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost next week, the gift of the Spirit for all believers, now is a great time to consider your untapped potential and just what new thing God may be calling you to do.

Trying to live into my own God-given potential,
Pastor Mike

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