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.
Condition vs Position
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 God’s ability in us; His perfect and unlimited ability performing in us, and for us.
As 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. When the apostle Peter—in his knee-jerk reaction of devotion—proclaims his loyalty, Jesus sees beyond the emotion, knowing Peter will deny Him when all is on the line. Jesus chooses to look beyond Peter’s faults in love and speaks to him as though he will never fail Him. Jesus related to Peter in his victory. Peter’s failure was not the only issue of consequence, but how he responded in the failure was paramount! 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 launchpad 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 to failure and celebrate the wins can build such momentum. Learning the lesson in humility and staying 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 can learn to speak to the person’s heart; not to the sin.
Love covers a multitude of sin because love is what changes the heart and not just the behavior. Speaking beyond where a person is NOW is when we start to have a relationship beyond the need or failure.
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, and at night, we see the stars.
If we go further, we find the cosmos; stars, moons, planets and the galaxies.
We go further and find 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 is essential to realizing potential.
Words build a picture that draws people into understanding. Consider words that are not restrictive or defensive; they 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 Your 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. We discover what is important to the listener and we build associations to those things so the listener will care about what we care about. Because we want to care about what they care about!
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 language of grace 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?
- Am I speaking to them not at them.
- Do I realize I am not in control of the person; they have their own destiny.
- People are not on my timetable so I don’t pressure them!
The above questions are provoking! Often, we can get it backward, where we are trying to do a great work first, but God is doing great work in them first! As we pray for and love people, God shows us 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!