Have You Hijacked Your Own Potential?

I remember being so discouraged…A good friend and I were having a conversation about life and the direction that my life was taking. At nineteen years old I didn’t have much experience in anything really. I just remember telling my friend that I didn’t know how to do anything. Have you ever felt that way? He was over twice my age and someone that I trusted very much. My friend had been through many trials personally; and had a lot of perspective about life in general. The advice that he gave me that day has helped me time and time again over the years since then.

Labels MEDIA INSERT part 1

Now…he didn’t quite put it in these words…but basically it all boiled down to this question:

What do you call yourself?

In other words, what is the label that you use to define your life and it’s worth?

We use labels for all sorts of things. Most of the time they provide organization, or provide the necessary information about a product.

Your life is also a product. What you label yourself is your personal definition of your worth and potential. I was so caught up in believing that I had nothing to offer the world that I had labeled my life without realizing it. In essence…I had hijacked my own potential. You need to be reminded that you are a unique, priceless, one of a kind creation. Your life and it’s potential were designed by God Himself. There are things that you were meant to accomplish that will bring fulfillment and a sense of pride that nothing else will.

A few weeks after my initial conversation with my friend…I had an encounter with God. It was during that time that I began to feel the call into ministry. It was a huge step for me. For a person that didn’t have much self worth, it was hard to believe, again, that I might have something to offer anyone.

But here’s the deal:

Your potential in life was placed in you, by God. You didn’t create it…you can’t undo it. Learning to walk in the plan that God has for your life is like learning to go by a different name. You don’t base your worth on what you call yourself. You base your worth on what God calls you.

For me that was a game changing idea.

Many times in scripture, a name was given to a baby that carried significance about that child’s life. We do the same thing today. There are thousands of people who look up the meaning of a name before they give it to their child. Why? Because the name holds  significance. For a few people in the Bible, God even went so far as to change their name. Again, why did He do that? Because He had a plan for their life that would require them living under the influence of a different label.

Let me ask you a question:

If God has labeled you…why would you still try to label yourself anything else? 

Here’s what scripture says about it:

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

When a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, God gives that person a new name. You have new potential. There is a new plan in place. Don’t try to keep calling yourself after the name that used to describe you.

I used to describe myself with words like worthless, untalented, and irrelevant. But God changed my name! You don’t have to be worthless when you carry the worth of your heavenly Father’s name. There’s no way you can be untalented when you realize that God will equip you in every circumstance with what you need. And for me…God provided meaning in my life that brought instant relevance that has never faded.

Don’t hijack the potential God has for your life by what you call yourself.


  • If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it about yourself!

Question: How has God helped you see yourself differently?

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Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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