A God who pretended we had no shortcomings would be a God who did not take our potential seriously

Suppose a coach tells a trainee-athlete, “You have no shortcomings.” Such a pampering statement would mean that the coach believes the athlete has no potential: since they can’t improve, maybe it’s best that they feel good about being where they are. If the coach takes an athlete’s potential seriously, they would prescribe a rigorous regimen for overcoming the shortcomings that block that athlete’s potential.

God, Krishna, is our ultimate coach; he takes our potential seriously, far more seriously than what we do ourselves. He can see how we can do so many more things than what we are doing presently and can be a far better being than what we are presently. While expert coaches can see their trainee’s potential in their field of expertise, omniscient Krishna can see our potential in all fields. Beyond whatever material potentials we may have, he sees our spiritual potential: we are souls, his eternal parts. If we connect lovingly with him, we can become channels for his supreme light to shine through, making our world brighter.

However, this divine light is obscured by the cloud of our many impurities and negativities. To dissipate these clouds, he provides us time-tested guidelines through scripture (Bhagavad-gita 16.24). Such guidelines can seem demanding: having our impurities highlighted can be humbling; working to eliminate them can be exhausting. We need to see scriptural guidelines positively – they are like an expert coach’s training regimen for a talented athlete. Following them can be rewarding, far more rewarding than any sports achievement.

When we become purified by living according to scripture, we will start manifesting our potentials materially and spiritually. And we will be amazed at how much outer contribution we can make and how much inner satisfaction we can get.


Think it over:

  • When may a coach pamper a trainee? Why?
  • What all potential can God see in us?
  • Why do scriptural guidelines seem demanding? How can we see them positively?

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