It’s always a joy for me to speak to the youth particularly when it is about helping them to see life in the proper perspective. So I was very much excited for the opportunity to do a keynote at the maiden edition of the Youth Awakening programme organised by the Harvest Chapel International. Though the theme was “Preparing Our Youth to be Ambassadors for Christ” I was given the option to speak on a sub-theme of my choice, and thus: “Harnessing Your True or Hidden Potential in Order to be a True Ambassador for Christ.” It was highly influenced by my conviction that, the greatest tragedy in life is that majority of people have accepted to be less than they were born to be, and are thus accomplishing far less than their true capabilities! Below is a fuller version of the brief presentation I gave at the programme.
Called To Excellence!
In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus, who is the reason for the season, tells us something that is so profound; he talks about the fact that his followers are salt and light…
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
So Apostle Paul had the occasion to send an admonition to Timothy (his son in the Lord) as per 1 Timonty 4:12; which same admonition is being given to you today…
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
How can you be an example in word?
‘Knowing and quoting the scriptures abundantly‘ will readily come to mind; which is great, but not sufficient! Being an example in word should include the following…
- Read wide, and with proper comprehension; become generally very knowledgeable
- Ask a lot of clarifying questions
- Readily answer questions, and express your opinions
- Write and speak respectfully, confidently, and impactfully
How can you be an example in conduct?
live in accordance with applicable moral code in the scriptures, and also the prescribed / accepted societal norms, and the laws of the country.
How can you be an example in love?
Love your neighbour as you love yourself; do unto others as you would love others do unto you.
How can you be an example in spirit?
Be very discerning, and demonstrate a very positive attitude in all matters. Earnestly desire the gifts of the spirit, especially the gift of prophecy; that you may prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1). Make every effort to bear the fruit of the spirit, and all the components thereof: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
How can you be an example in faith?
Hold on to the faithfulness of God especially as seen in the laws of nature, and believe in yourself; take bold calculated steps, and never give up, always seeking the right and adequate knowledge, and other resources to help you through every endeavour.
How can you be an example in purity?
Walk in integrity / honesty, high moral standards and values based on scripture. Abstain from evil, and appearances of evil.
Besides enjoying a life of great contentment, respect and admiration here on earth, one of the greatest benefits for living up to all the above is that you will please God, and you will have inheritance in heaven! And I believe you have already heard a lot about going to heaven, especially what is required for you to go to heaven, and all!
I believe that you will want to go heaven, so let me ask you: when do you want to go?
Though you want to go to heaven, I believe that just like many people, you don’t want to go there anytime soon; you want to live a very long life here on earth, and I wish you long life; in Jesus’s name!
Now since you will live long here on earth, it means that you must contribute your knowledge, skills and talents to help solve the so many problems that the country (and the world at large) faces. It is one of the surest ways to season the earth as the salt that you are supposed to be, and to shine bright as the light God has called you to be!
Can you name some of the problems?
When you talk to people about Christ as part of your ambassadorial duties, but are unable to contribute your knowledge, skills and talents to solve the tangible problems people face here on earth, you are not truly glorifying God as a true ambassador of Christ! That is the reason why you need to harness your true / hidden potential and be able to solve problems.
Let no one despise your youth; ‘no one‘ includes your own self as well. So don’t despise your youth; don’t think you are too young to make an impact. And let no one else make you feel that you cannot make an impact. Yes you can! And you will indeed make an impact to the glory of God!
But wait a minute…
Look Before You Leap!
Notice that, Ghana (and Africa) is blessed with abundant wealth of natural resource; but after more than 60 years of independence, we are confronted with… massive unemployment and underemployment, our ‘Debt-to-GDP’ ratio is very alarming and yet we still have huge infrastructure deficit, we have very little share in the abundant natural resources, the economy is heavily import-driven and consequently depreciating the local currency, price inflation is so huge, our environment is getting degraded the more, filth is all over, our transportation and healthcare systems are nothing to write home about, and our life expectancy is terribly low, and so on; even though we have a lot of people who have been to school extensively; some with PhDs, Masters Degrees, and other very good credentials, and are in charge at various levels. Besides, we are a highly religious people; we worship God a lot, and we pray a lot.
I will tell you why…
Our problems persist because, majority of people have accepted to be less than they were born to be and are thus accomplishing far less than their true capabilities. They despise themselves, and also allow others to despise them; especially their capabilities. And so they refuse to undertake bold ventures that will deal with the numerous problems.
Indeed, most people do not know about their true potential; thus they make little or no effort to unearth / harness that true / hidden potential; they waste their true potential!
Inference drawn from a study carried out by Harvard University indicates that, ordinarily, the formal education system is able to harness / contribute up to just 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. Studies done under the auspices of other institutions like the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching yielded similar results. In essence, education and schooling are not the same thing! And formal education (schooling) alone cannot give us the needed results!
So the renowned Prof Sir William Arthur Lewis says that… “Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools is often not education. And the results may well be that it reduces productive capacity rather than to increase it.”
Now, that’s serious indeed if consider the parable of the minas. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) we’re told that a master gave talents (or resources) to three of his servants; to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; and the scripture says: “to each according to his own ability.” Now, there is a counterpart parable in Luke 19:12-27: the master had 10 servants, and he gave each of them equal amount of resources: one mina each. In this account, the first one earned 10 minas, by doing business with the initial 1 mina; the second earned 5 minas, by doing business with the initial 1 mina. Eventually they were rewarded according to or in proportion to how productive they had been; in commensurate measure, respectively. (I go into greater details in “Let’s Talk #Productivity;” you may click here to see that.)
There are certain resources that God has given each one of us in equal measure. Can you name some?
I will name two…
Time: Every person has 24hours per day at his / her disposal; what do you do with yours? Mostly idle chatter on social media? Not that much, I hope! Truly learning, and marketing yourself, even on social media, and other places on the internet; etc? Great!
Brain power: Every person born into this world is a genius within; unless the brain is diseased.
I strongly believe that, part of the accountability we need to give, especially whilst here on earth, is how well we utilise these two fundamental resources of achievement: Time, and Brain Power. Now, let me ask you…
Do you know your true potential?
Chances are that you don’t, and that you underestimate your capabilities, and may currently be using very little of your true / hidden potential abilities, especially your brain power; there is 97 out of 100 chances (97 percent probability).
It may interest you to note that, indeed, you personally have the inborn ability or potential to develop a theory, company, a product or service that will significantly improve or positively transform the lives of at least 1 billion people within 10 years, and thus generate wealth beyond what you could possibly spend in a lifetime. That is basically the least of the true or hidden potential in everyone (and thus, including your good self) and not just some other privileged few. Yes; that is the case even if you have neither ever been told, never felt so within you, nor demonstrated so in anyway over the period.
To summarise, there are very good reasons why you have to learn to harness your true / hidden potential in order to be a true ambassador of Christ…
- You are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world; God is counting on you to help solve prevailing problems in society.
- You are inherently able, so let no one despise your youth. But…
- Ordinarily, you are likely to grossly underperform; especially since the formal education system is able to harness / contribute up to just 22 percent of your true effectiveness and greatness in life.
- You can be guided to harness your true / hidden potential through special training sessions / seminars / workshops. And…
- We are committed to helping you, so make yourself available.
God bless you!
I am grateful to the leadership of Harvest Chapel for making me an essential part of the Youth Awakening programme. I tried to be as brief as possible; if there is any particular aspect you like me to elaborate further, let me know. If you are a parent, a teacher or a pastor, please click the following link to see: The First and Most Amazing Seed Every Great Parent Sows into the Life of His / Her Child. Shalom!