“If you truly want to reach your full potential, you must have a clean heart, a clear mind, a balanced schedule.”
Dr. Charles F. Stanley was awakened from his sleep with the above thought filling his spirit. He wrote it down, then an outline, then went back to sleep.
Having resigned my job a few months ago under difficult circumstances, it’s taken me a while to recover and to figure out what comes next. I got the copy of Dr. Stanley’s book back in January and it sat on top of the stack of books on my work table. I’d pick it up, thumb through, but I’d set it back down, falling victim to procrastinations. One of the first questions Dr. Stanley asks is, “Are you living a settled-for life?” The convicting answer is, at this moment, yes. Having gone from a breakneck schedule of 60-80 hours per week in the disciplined world of church administration, to holding down the big leather chair in the living room with a laptop and a cat on my lap sending out resumes, I am most certainly sliding faster and faster into a settled-for life where no one wants me but my cat. I’m forgetting a core belief and I do believe this with all my heart:
“Your purpose on this earth is to develop your God-given gifts, talents, and abilities to the best of your ability so you can impact the world around you for Christ. God has placed you in a time and location that will allow you to maximize your role in establishing His will. You do this through prayers, praise, efforts to tell others about Jesus, and work on His behalf.”
Based on that then, Dr. Stanley takes us through seven essentials to pursue in order to “reach your full potential for God.” Step by step we are guided through discerning our inner spiritual status and thought processes. This book isn’t the one and only book you should read on reaching your potential for God, but it’s a good guide. If you’ve listened to Dr. Stanley on the radio you can “hear” his booming voice in his writing. It’s direct, and lays down the law. For instance, on page 71, he hit the nail on the head for me:
“A clear mind is capable of maintaining focus. A clear mind stays on task and on track.” He goes on to suggest, “If you cannot stay focused in your thinking, ask God to help you. Pray for Him to show you ways of removing distractions from your life.” Then, right down to the nitty gritty, Dr. Stanley plainly says to spend time in the Word. “Refuse to allow anything other than God’s Word to define what is worthy, true, pleasurable, or meaningful.”
See, that’s the thing, when left to our own thoughts, the negative creeps in, and evil has an open door to worm its way in to steal your goodness. Pretty soon whatever potential for God was being built, is lost. But it doesn’t have to be if we systematically work in the Word, work a program of potential.
“…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. These are not attributes that we can produce on our own. They develop in us as we say “no” to the flesh and “yes” to the Holy Spirit living and working in us. The Spirit matures us into the fullness of Christ’s character.”
I think if you are in a transition, either between jobs, between relationships, or leading some other settled-for life, this book will be a good guide. In fact, I’m suggesting my spiritually mature husband read the book as well. My favorite section and the one I need most is Chapter 9 or Essential #6: A Balanced Schedule. And, I’ll write more about this another time.
This post is a contribution to the blog carnival at Bridget Chumbley’s blog on the word goodness.
This post is also a review of the book: How to Reach Your Full Potential for God, by Dr. Charles F. Stanley. The book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson Book Publishers through BookSneeze.com.