Friday, July 18, 2014


Graduating from high school was a defining time in my life. I remember comments like: “You’re going to do great things with your life. There is nothing you can’t do. Go for it; the world is your oyster.”  Then I waited for life to prove it to me.
But life was just plain hard. Many failures and disappointments later I was smart enough to know there had to be another avenue.  In 1978 when I made a personal declaration to accept God into my life, I started pursing more satisfying solutions.  I found a jaw-dropping answer in the bible in Ephesians 1:18-19: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Wow, that’s a lot of greatness and power. Then how do we get it for ourselves and then pass it on to others? First of all to get it we have to believe and receive. Secondly, to unleash it we need to pass it on.
We are a family that loves basketball so I will use a great basketball player by the name of LeBron James as my example.  James is arguably the greatest basketball player of this generation. Over the past four years he has led his team, the “Miami Heat” to four National Basketball Association finals, winning two championships. Lebron has command of all the basic skills required for basketball including power, speed, shooting and defensive ability. There are other stars that possess equivalent individual skills. But the thing that sets LeBron apart is his ability to recognize and utilize the gifting and capabilities of his mates and deliver the ball to them when they are in the best position to succeed. For example: three point shots, a midrange jump shot or a drive to the basket.
We unleash each other’s greatness when we view each other as being team mates rather than competitors. When there is a mutual willingness with our friends, family and colleagues to “pass the ball” we can all succeed in unleashing and exercising the gifts God has given us.
Setting each other up for greatness involves the following:
1.         Observation and Communication-Notice the areas of life which are the best in a friend, family or colleague, so that when the ball is in their hands, they are most likely to succeed. Discuss the roles with that person so that they can have the greatest sense of joy and satisfaction.
2.         Patience-As in athletics the talents and skills required for unleashing greatness in your own life, and the life of others is sharpened and refined through practice and experience. Such experience may involve failure before success. As “failure” is not final, disparaging remarks to yourself or your friend have no place in setting up for greatness.
3.         Encouragement-This is huge. Words followed by actions have to power to unleash the gifts and glorious inheritance God has placed inside each of us.  When we feed them into each other’s skill sets, they are extraordinarily important and powerful.

4.         Co-operation and not Competition-First of all in co-operation of the working of the Holy Spirit to “enlighten the eyes of our heart” so that we can recognize the gifts God has given us. Then to pass the ball to those around us so that we all win this life game that we are engaged in.
5.         Greatness is an inside job-The greatness I am talking about is everything God placed inside of us when we received Jesus as our savior. The world will never give us the ultimate success we crave. The more we pursue God and His incomparably great power, the more we will recognize the greatness that has been placed inside of us. Hebrews 10:24 which says: “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”
Is the world my oyster? More than that!  Right now I can enjoy a glorious inheritance that will one day be unleashed in all its greatness when I stand face to face with my God.
In the meantime. I am all about discovering my own greatness and helping you with yours.

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at:

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Heidi, thank you for sharing your wonderful Scripture-grounded insights.
So much of what you share - especially your points about encouragement and recognizing the gifts in others, and also cooperation rather that competition - reflects what I've found to be true in our fellowship of The Word Guild. ~~+~~

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