Often our shortcomings are glaring and can traffic our mind way too much. We overcompensate with excuses or act in guilt motivation to do better. Looking at others we compare ourselves and often it is the mirror and speaker that defeats us from the inside out. Even though this reality has truth to it, there is another reality that is true – a divine reality.
God sees us in a place BEYOND where we see ourselves. He sees us totally complete in Him. He speaks to us in a way where we have matured and are perfected already. He speaks to us in words from the “BEYOND”, and not just in “the now”. I have heard many say that “I am just a work in progress, God isn’t finished with me yet”, this is true, but the ultimate reality is we are NOW what God has already made us be!
Our “now”, or condition is in a state of growth, but our “position” is a place of spiritual power. This is a place of potential where we learn to relate to. We may not have experienced it all yet, but Jesus makes us into who we are made to be. So the question is, how do we believe in what Jesus says, even if we haven’t experienced it yet?
The power of imagination
Imagination is a place where we dream. A place where failure doesn’t hold us back. A runner envisions winning the race even before he puts his foot to the line. He trains, speaking to himself, believing the best. This place of potential is more than what we can do on our best day when all the pistons are firing correctly – it is Gods ability in us – HIS perfect and unlimited ability performing in us, and FOR US.
We see through the Gospels Jesus spoke and addressed the heart and potential of the listener. He was always pointing to faith, a reality that was a mystery to many. His words sparked the imagination to believe bigger and to do the impossible, ordinary people doing extraordinary things because they believed!
Looking at people BEYOND where they are now into who they will become, is the best way to speak to them. Jesus shows us this with Peter. The apostle Peter in his knee jerk reaction of devotion proclaims his loyalty – Jesus sees beyond the emotion and knows Peter will deny him when all is on the line. Jesus chooses to look beyond Peters faults in love and speaks to him as though he will never fail him. Jesus related to Peter in his victory.
Jesus was preparing Peter to preach to thousands and teaching him to walk with Him BEYOND his failure. Peters denial prepared him for his victory!
Failures can make a mess, doubt, fear, and skepticism often block the door to THE BEYOND. Life lessons tenderize the heart to be a lunch pad in strength and resolve. Failure can be a great teacher, but it is not meant to be a whipping post for others or ourselves. Isolate it, forsake it, and move past it. Learning how to respond and celebrate the wins, can build such momentum. Learning the lesson in humility and stay little in your own eyes – makes it ALL worth it.
Don’t be surprised at peoples failures; just respond with words and actions that are from the BEYOND life. Failure is a tough challenge to hurdle when relating to people. Often the wrong is magnified larger than life; it is like a large pothole on a beautifully smooth road, we swerve to avoid it but often hit it head-on. How do we get around it? We can’t deny the wrong, but we learn to speak to the person’s heart, not to the sin.
We see them in who they CAN BE and not only in who they are now. This is a choice. You may feel like you are a construction site, but faith words move us BEYOND!
The theme of Star Trek is playing in my mind as I write this next part…“Going where no one has gone before!” Looking up into the sky we see such beauty! Looking beyond the sky we see the clouds, moon, at night we see the stars. We go further and we know about the cosmos, the moon, planets, and the galaxies. We go further and the immensity of black holes, faraway planets, and star clusters with such beauty it is hard for the mind to comprehend. We go beyond the second heaven and think of the beauty of the third Heaven, a paradise where we will one day be with our Lord. This is a place BEYOND – a place prepared for every believer!
We want to speak abounding words that lead BEYOND the stumbling blocks. Here are a few statements that speak and release potential.
- I trust you
- GO for it
- You are able
- You are loved
- You are an overcomer
- Keep working it
- You are made for this,
- You are a WINNER no matter the outcome
- You are wiser and stronger than you were before.
Equipping people with the right training and tools are essential to realizing potential. Words build a picture that draws people into understanding. Consider words that are not restrictive or defensive which try to control the listener, people read your body language as well as hear your words – they can read between the lines. Words are so powerful! Proverbs 18:21 “The power of life and death are in the tongue…” How do you speak to yourself? How do you speak to others? This is a good indicator of what you feed on in your own heart and what you believe about yourself and others.
Let’s ask ourselves these questions to help to create an atmosphere for growth and help lead others beyond where they are now.
- DO we bring attention to their strengths?
- DO we lead them in a way where they can be developed?
- DO we empower them in encouragement and challenge?
- DO we speak faith thoughts that break out of manager mode into a thriving potential?
What is my language
A “crowded mind” often shows itself when we get overwhelmed. Multitasking sounds productive but often the “juggling” mind is doing gymnastics trying to identify what to hold onto and what to let go of, what is valuable and what is not. As we listen to understand, and not to be understood, we begin to speak in a new language. We learn to speak TO people and not AT people. What is the difference? We speak to the heart and not just the intellect.
Constructive criticism magnifies the shortcoming, but in creative communication, we spend more time magnifying the strengths. We don’t skirt the problem, but this approach ultimately corrects the lack. We spend a small percentage of our words identifying what went wrong and most of our words on identifying what was done right. Giving tools and empowering the person in trust, gives the opportunity to succeed again. Probation or belittling is counterproductive and backfires every time!
Speak to people’s potential by faith, and there will be change; this is the foundation of creative communication. The Grace language is always creating something in our lives.
Here are some game changes:
- Have I given them the tools they need to succeed?
- Are they in the right place – or are they a square peg in a round hole?
- Do they have the skillset for what I am expecting of them?
- Do they understand what is expected of them?
- Speaking TO them not AT them.
- Realize we are not in control of the person, they have their own destiny
- People are not on my timetable – don’t pressure them!
The above questions are provoking! Often, we can get it backward – we are trying to do a great work first, but God is doing great work in them – FIRST! In praying and loving people God shows how to build and develop them.
The psalmist says it well in Psalms 18:29 “For by Thee I have run through a troop, and by my God have I leaped over a wall”. SPEAK LIFE, SPEAK POTENTIAL – Lead others into the beyond!
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (tinyurl.com/IRpodcast)