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When You Still Aren’t Being Used to Your Full Potential

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God’s design for a tree includes winter as much as summer. In fact, the dormant season remains essential for a tree’s growth. In a way, we are very similar to a tree.

Dormant Tree

(Photo: By zause01. Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

God has gifted each Christian for a purpose. But like a tree, our gifts have seasons—and sometimes certain gifts may lie dormant for a time—untapped.

In my last post, I offered 3 perspectives to consider when you aren’t being used to your full potential. Here they are:

  1. Remember who your gifts are for—the church, not you.
  2. Seek fulfillment in faithfulness rather than in the exercise of your gifts.
  3. Refuse to get your identify from your gifts. See yourself as God’s servant.

In this post, we’ll add 3 more to the list—including one truth that has set me free when it seems my potential is untapped.

1. See your unused gifts as an offering—not a waste.

Think of Mary of Bethany pouring out her spikenard perfume on Jesus’ feet (John 12:1-8). Likely, this expensive ointment represent her dowry—a precious gift.

Have you ever considered that God may have given you gifts to see if you’re willing to surrender them to Him unused? Or surrender them to His timing?

In these seasons when we aren’t used to our full potential, our gifts become sacrifices—and we glorify God by waiting on Him rather than by serving Him.

waiting to serve God

(Photo: By Camster2. Own work. GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons)

2. Remember that your participation in God’s plan is a privilege—not a right.

Our gifts should never overshadow the voice of God.

  • Because God didn’t give us our gifts for us, the basis of our decisions in life isn’t our fulfillment. The issue is following His will.
  • Because we live first and foremost as God’s servants, we can release our gifts to God when seasons change. Again, it’s about Him.

Whenever I hear about the premature deaths of gifted Christians, it reminds me God doesn’t need my gifts. His plan will roll right along after I’m gone.

Our participation is a privilege.

trees in the forest

(Photo courtesy of

3. Consider even Jesus had untapped potential.

This is the truth that sets me free.

More than anyone who ever lived, Jesus was gifted. And yet He chose to limit the use of His abilities to only those the Father chose to use—and when the Father chose to use them.

Although He existed in the form of God, [Jesus] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant. —Philippians 2:5–7

Jesus saw Himself as a servant. The One who could have done SO much more chose instead to do only what the Father chose Him to do.

Not every good opportunity is a call from God. (Tweet that.)

So you are not used to your full potential? I’m not either. Neither was Jesus.

But that was the Father’s will.

It still is.

Tell me what you think: What helps you when you aren’t used to your full potential? To leave a comment, just click here.

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