My physics teacher in high school, Harry Taylor, would always sign our yearbooks with the following words of wisdom, “May your PE= your KE.” Potential energy is just that, your potential. Kinetic energy is the measure of the energy that you are currently using through motion. The “Parable of the Talents” (Matthew 25:14-30) speaks of this very thing.
Commenting on this parable Erwin Raphael McManus says the following:
Yet this parable gives us an inside view of legalism at its best. This man was paralyzed by an improper view of God. There is a difference between the fear of God and being afraid of God. We have seen that the fear of God sets us free to live. Being afraid of God paralyses us and reduced us to existing. His wrong view of God’s character led him to a wrong conclusion of what God would require of him. At the same time, his wrong view of God led him to lose both the potential of his life and the pleasure of his master.
This parable establishes God’s measure for our lives. God sees not only who we are, but who we can become. When we neglect our God-given capacity, when we refuse to maximize our God-given potential, it is wickedness in the sight of God. How would it change the work of the church if our measure of effectiveness was not how little sin was being done, but how much good was being accomplished? We have seen with clarity that a life lived against God is wicked, but have we ever seen as clearly that to live a life beneath our divine capacity is equally dishonoring to God? To not have that opportunity is tragic. To relinquish it, to neglect it, to reject it is wicked in the sight of God.
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. II Timothy 4:5