Monday, February 15, 2010

See the Potential

It’s Presidents Day, and it’s a good time to talk with our kids about the God-given potential in every individual. When I consider the humble beginnings of Abraham Lincoln, I think about the tremendous story of persistence and achievement his life portrayed. He could have given up many times throughout his life, yet through each defeat he continued to press forward. Instead of focusing on his limitations and his past, he recognized what he could do and the difference he could make for good in our nation. Take some time today to share Lincoln’s story with your kids ( and teach them to recognize their abilities and to persist in their goals.

God has given each one of us gifts and talents to offer this world. This past weekend my husband and I attended a banquet in Abilene, Texas honoring the wonderful folks at Disability Resources. DRI offers vocational opportunities and a loving home environment for adults with physical and mental disabilities. Several years ago a gifted woman named Kathy Taylor put together a bell choir teaching the special folks from DRI how to play and perform. The “Bell Peppers” bell choir performed for us on Saturday night and they did a fantastic job. I am grateful for the way Kathy and the staff at DRI builds on what the folks can do, instead of focusing on what they are not able to do.

What an important lesson for all of us. We may not be able to do everything, but we can do something. Every person has strengths. Play to your strengths and stop focusing on your weaknesses. And when it comes to the people around you, build on their abilities and talents instead of wasting your time worrying about the things they can’t do. Make a deliberate effort to search for strengths and see the best in the people God places in your life.

Watching the DRI bell choir reminded me that no one should ever say, “I just can’t do anything.” The precious folks at DRI learned vocational skills and how to work together playing bells. They have asked the question “What can I do?” and found the answer. So step up to the challenge. Ask yourself, what am I able to accomplish with the gifts I have been given.
Hebrews 10:24 says, “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.”

Let’s make it a personal challenge to ourselves to search and see the potential in others and seize the opportunity to build them up and encourage them in their gifts, talents and strengths. Don’t forget to focus on your own strengths as well. And like Lincoln, don’t let disappointment get you down. Persist as you build on your potential.

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