Don’t Underestimate Environment

Potential means nothing if you don’t do anything with it.”

My desire is you live up to your potential. Don’t waste it like Samson. Don’t die with it inside like Elisha. Reach it.

A huge factor in reaching our potential is environment. Many underestimate the effect of environment on our life and potential.

You may not know this about me but I have a Bachelor of Science. My major was Biology. So I’m going to get my Biology-nerd on for a little while. Bear with me.

There are these moths in England – Peppered moths – some are white with sprinkles of black and others are black with sprinkles of white on their wings. Many years ago the white with black sprinkles were abundant because they blended in with the trunks of trees and would not get eaten by birds. Black moths were rare because birds could spot them easily and they were eaten up.

During the industrial revolution tree trunks turned black and guess what happened? The black moths blended into the tree trunks and stopped being eaten. They began to thrive and the white moths became rare.

Organisms thrive or die depending on their environment. When the environment changed, certain peppered moths who used to thrive, suddenly began to die.

Unlike peppered moths our environment, and the factors which cause us to thrive or not, are not so obvious.

Your soul environment is where the inner you lives. It is where you hang out. Where your mind lives. Where you thoughts live.

In the right environment, you thrive. In the wrong one, your soul will die.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

When many think about spiritual warfare they think of demons, angles and heavenly battles. But sometimes spiritual warfare is not so… um, spiritual.

Sometimes it’s an argument we choose to have, or not.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

It can be a negative statement. A criticism.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world…

It can be a habit. A behaviour.

Such entities make up the environment of life.

And they have the power to enhance potential, or choke it.

Don’t underestimate control over the environment in which you live.

Environment does not just happen. Your environment is the result of behaviours, decisions, conversations and thoughts.

And you have the power to change it.

Let me tell you a little about my environment. I am very particular about what I watch and listen to. My parents groomed me to be this way because they would not let me watch certain television programs or listen to some secular artists growing up. I have continued. I don’t listen to secular music. I don’t watch shows about adultery. I watch Hillsong TV.

I had a conviction about visiting bars and nightclubs during university because it was not an environment I felt would propel me toward my potential. But I did go to church. Every Sunday. And I took road trips to conferences and missions trips to Asia.

Think about your environment. Are there entities in your environment that will cause you to thrive? Or is your environment slowing killing you?

What do you need to change?

Because you can change. We all can. Oh, it takes energy. It takes bravery. It takes resolve, sacrifice, and a whole heap of perseverance.

But isn’t your life worth it? Don’t you want to reach your potential?

Don’t underestimate environment.

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More about Sarah Coleman

Sarah Coleman is wife, mother of two boys, writer, pastor, teacher and friend. She loves Jesus with a passion and the feel of Australian sand beneath her toes.

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