When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judg. 6:12)

We have no evidence, apart from this statement, that Gideon was a great warrior. We have no record that he ever fought a battle. If we had been on a mission to find a leader for Israel, we may not have chosen Gideon. In fact, we might have been tempted to ask, “Gideon, if you’re such a great warrior, why are you hiding in the winepress?”

Was the angel commenting on skills Gideon had demonstrated? Or was he looking at Gideon’s potential?

God sees more than we do when we look at people!

Charles Schulz, the cartoonist and creator of the Peanuts comic strip, said, “Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.”

I am confident God sees all that potential. In spite of our so-called limitations, God sees who we really are and what we really can become.

So when you are tempted to doubt your abilities, play down your talents, or short-change your gifts, think again. Instead of saying, “I’m just one person. What can I do?” think about the possibility that God may have great things in mind for you. He sees your potential.

What could you be and what could you do if you could see your potential as God sees it? What kind of person would you become if you fulfilled God’s potential for you?

Embrace the US Army’s tagline, “Be all you can be”—a good challenge for a Christian soldier too.

Ron McClung works at his denomination’s world headquarters and lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons and nine grandchildren.