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Ever wondered why some people who are exceptionally gifted fail? Why do so many gifted actors, athletes, singers, musicians, inventors, coaches, businesspeople, politicians and otherwise intelligent people end up blowing their potential?

Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."
(Col. 4:12 NKJV)
Why do these gifted people end up in scandal after scandal, going through divorce and remarriage multiple times, being estranged from their kids, ruining relationships, going to rehab or jail numerous times and eventually landing on the "has been" junk heap?

What happens to people called and gifted of God to raise up ministries? Lead worship? Preach? Go on the mission field? Start churches? Pastor churches? Teach the Word? What has the potential to derail people whom God has gifted to be involved in life-changing, earth-shaking, planet-rocking ministries? What shipwrecks their faith and calling?

There are a couple of important things we must develop if we want to succeed in maximizing our potential. Here are two important ones…

Character Stamina: There's an old saying that goes like this: "Your gift will only go as far as your character will take you." The most gifted person can only go as far as his or her character will take them. Eventually, a person's giftedness will catch up to and stop at the level of their integrity. Our follow-through, faithfulness, ethics, self-discipline, endurance, perseverance, morality, honesty, humility and overall character will send us soaring or it will be a ceiling we can't get past.

If we want God to maximize our gifts, we have to understand that it takes time and testing to develop and refine character. Some people are not willing to take the "long route" to developing solid Christian character so that they can maximize their gifts and reach their full potential. Instead, people look for sloppy short-cuts to success, fame, fortune and reputation; unfortunately, this road usually leads to a lot of bouncing around and casualties.

So, what's a gifted person to do? Develop character. When we allow the Lord to work in our lives to develop Christ-like character, our gifts will take us a lot farther than we can imagine.

Prayer Power: Some of us are behind in prayer – we need to overcome a prayer deficit! We need to be prayer warriors and have experience in tapping into God's power. We also need strong pray-ers who will pray for us! Epaphras was a prayer warrior and he prayed for the people in the church at Colossae to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. The Amplified Bible makes it clear that a big part of his prayer for them was centered on the development of their character and maturity:
Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you earnestly in his prayers, [pleading] that you may [as persons of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth], convinced and fully assured in everything willed by God.
(Col. 4:12 AMP)
Do you have an Epaphras in your life? Is someone praying for you to stand perfect and complete in ripe character and spiritual maturity so that you fulfill everything willed by God? If so, you are blessed! Are you an Epaphras? Do you know any gifted people who need your prayers? What gifted young people do you know? Gifted believers and Christian leaders need your prayers to develop in character, maturity and their full potential.

We need every person in the Body of Christ! We need every gifted person to flourish in their God-given calling. We can't afford any "blown-potentials," casualties, "has beens" or short-circuited careers. We don't want anyone to fail or fall short of God's best. So, let's join our faith and prayers so that more people whom God has gifted are able to develop strong Christian character and stand perfect and complete in maximizing their God-given potential!

Say It: Father, I want to grow and develop in Christian character so that You can maximize the gifts You have given me. Help me to maximize my God-given potential. Lord, I also pray for those whom I know are gifted in a variety of ways. I pray You help them develop ripe Christian character and spiritual maturity so they can stand perfect and complete in Your will. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Beth Jones Ministries
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Author Biography

Beth Jones
Web site: Valley Family Church
 
Pastors Jeff and Beth Jones serve as the Founding & Senior Pastors of Valley Family Church. Pastor Beth is a gifted leader, teacher and writer and is passionate about helping people "get the basics" of their christian faith. She's an anointed communicator, hilarious and full of joy as she shares the gospel in a real and relatable way.
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