• Richard Parrish

Be All You Can Be… (Or not)!



You may be familiar with a classic piece of devotional material written by Oswald Chambers: My Utmost For His Highest.


The vernacular carries the flavor of Old English and may sound a bit archaic. However, embedded in its meaning is a message as relevant now, as then:


All we are, have, do, and strive toward is for God’s highest purpose, not ours.


Our gifts, talents, treasure, creativity, and passions are to be channeled toward a higher purpose – a resolve to reflect the splendor and majesty of God, our Creator.


You may be familiar with the advertisement that the Army spent a ton of money on: “Be All That You Can Be.” On the surface, it sounds nice. After all, to allow our gifts to be dormant seems like a waste, doesn’t it?


However, those of us who desire to serve others with our gifts for a higher purpose, recognize the deception of one of our culture’s most deeply held values.


Society emphasizes that maximizing our potential is a most significant responsibility. And, anyone who settles for less makes a tragic, if not shameful, mistake.


Unfortunately, that same assumption is frequently shared by many of us. And, if you add to that notion an eternal consequence of our work, it’s nearly impossible NOT to feel driven.


The problem is: We can quickly become driven for wrong reasons.


When our motivation is to maximize our potential, it’s easy to allow programs to become more important than people. When we lose sight of our utmost for His highest, we begin to desire numerical and financial growth more than the necessity of deep personal spiritual growth.


The world’s emphasis to “be all you can be” draws attention to us. In God’s kingdom, we offer our gifts to God and others so people will see God, and not us!


The value discovered when we offer our utmost for God’s highest is: we relinquish success and failure to God, and by doing so we guard our hearts against the temptation of pride.


Develop, improve, and strengthen your gifts. And remember:

“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord” (Prov. 21:30-31).

Pray with me:

“LORD, the best we have and can offer to you is insufficient. Allow us to use what we have to bless others so they will see You. Guard our hearts against pride. For all we have comes from You” – Amen.