How to Discover Your Capacity

What did God create you with the capacity to be and do? The “be” part of that question is all about your character. It focuses on your spiritual, relational, emotional, and physical health. The “do” part of that question is all about your contribution. It focuses on the difference you will make in your world through your gifts, abilities, skills, and passions. The “be” and the “do” both require personal growth because your life has gaps in both areas.

Your “be” capacity is quite large. God believes in who you can be because His Spirit has the power to form His character within you. Your willingness to cooperate with His work is a huge part of this process. And your commitment to grow in the right disciplines—spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and physically—will turn you into a person you’ve only dreamed of becoming.

Your “do” capacity is also larger than you think. Consider this: If God created you with the capacity to serve the poor, and He’s birthed a dream inside of you to make a dent in poverty, then you should grow your potential for serving to its full capacity. And if God made you with the capacity to teach kindergarten students, and your heart exudes joy when you’re investing in the next generation, then you should grow your potential for loving and teaching kids to its full capacity. Dreams minus growth equals illusion. Capacity minus growth equals regret.

Dreams minus growth equals illusion. Capacity minus growth equals regret. Click To Tweet

Author and cultural architect Erwin McManus captures the “do” part of your capacity best when he asks, “Is your dream worth your life?” Is what you imagine enough to drive you, to propel you, to motivate you to grow in whatever way necessary to achieve it? If your dream is rummaging through the basement of your capacity, then you’re not dreaming big enough. Let the Holy Spirit awaken you to the mission God is carrying out in the world. In His mission you will discover a glorious dream worth pursuing.

So how do you discover your “be/do” capacity?

Jesus was the ultimate example of what it meant to “be.” Yes, He was God, an obvious advantage over you and me. But He was also a man. He was tempted, challenged, ridiculed, cursed, and crucified. He had every opportunity to “be” anything but pure, loving, compassionate, focused, and disciplined.

So if you want to discover your “be” capacity, read Scriptures about who God has called you to be. Passages like the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7), the “Great Commandment” (Matthew 22:34-40) and the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23) are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our capacity for “being.” God wouldn’t have called us to “be” like this if it were not possible. The key to remember is that it is only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.

“Doing” is the other side of the capacity coin. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Several years ago, I finally got serious about discovering the “do” part of my capacity. I started by answering questions about my passions, abilities, skills, and history. These questions helped me understand where I had the greatest “do” capacity for growth and, ultimately, the greatest capacity to make a difference. Try this exercise. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where have I experienced the most success?
  • What are my greatest strengths, abilities, and skills?
  • What do I have the deepest passion for?
  • What kind of personality do I have?
  • Where do I receive the greatest return on my investment of time?

You’ll find that each question is linked to your largest capacity containers for “doing”—your gifts, abilities, passions, and personality. Once you’ve answered these capacity-revealing questions, look for the common threads woven among your answers. Your most common responses will reveal two things: how God has wired you to make your greatest contribution to the world, and where you have the greatest capacity for personal growth. Those are important insights.

Don’t be a stranger to yourself. Get the first glimpses of your capacity. Envision who you want to “be” and what you want to “do.” Discovering your “be/do” capacity will help you better understand your specific growth gaps.

Question: What steps have you taken to discover your “be/do” capacity?

This post is adapted from my book, GO! Starting a Personal Growth Revolution and is available in my store HERE, on AMAZON, or on KINDLE. You can also order at BARNES & NOBLE or BOOKS-A-MILLION. For bulk orders and pricing, email me HERE.