In line with the theme for the year, I’m currently reading The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston. It’s difficult to put the book down. It’s difficult to not pick it up and quote it to myself and others.
So, today I’m sharing this inspiration… thoughts on “what can this become?”, by Ray Johnson.
“I want to ask you one question that has the power to change the rest of your life. This one question is so important it should be the primary question asked by every parent of every teenager. This question is so important it should be the primary question asked by a spouse discouraged by his or her marriage. This question is so important it should be the first question asked by people who want to change their lives, lose weight, get out of debt, or have a better future. This question has the power to lift a person out of discouragement. It has the power to transform somebody’s mood. It has the power to turn around a company or a church or a family.
“This question is actually more than a question.
“It becomes a frame of reference for how you look at everything. When this question moves from being a question to being a habit, to being your lifestyle, everybody you will be affected. A person trained to ask this question becomes
- someone people flock to for advice and encouragement,
- the parent everybody wishes they had,
- the spouse everybody wishes they were married to,
- the friend everybody wishes they knew, and
- a better person, a better coach, a better teacher, a better employee, a better leader.
“This question is the reason Peter went from being a complete failure to being one of the first great leaders of the Christian church. I believe this question was uppermost in Jesus’ mind every time He looked at His disciples.
“Here is the question: What can this become?
“We learn this from Jesus. Jesus tipped His hand when He looked at some young, inexperienced men and made an astounding statement: “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17 NASB).
“None of the disciples was a first-round draft pick. They were a mess. Peter had his mouth always open, his foot always in. Thomas met every plan with, “I doubt it.” St. John the Divine? That same John and his brother James were called the “Sons of Thunder”. Matthew was a selfish tax collector. As a group, they were always arguing about who was the greatest. The only thing they seemed to do right was “borrow” a kid’s lunch one day so Jesus could feed five thousand people.
“What made Jesus so effective? What made Him the single most magnetic leader ever to walk this planet? What was it about Jesus that liberated people from their pasts and freed them to go on to become something never dreamed?
“Here it is:
“Jesus was not focused on what people were like.
“He was focused on what they could become.
“Show me a parent of a teenager who is focused on what their kid is like right now, and I’ll show you a discouraged parent. Show me a parent who is focused on what his or her teenager can become, and anything is possible.
“Show me a husband or wife focus on what his or her marriage is like right now, and usually I can show you a discouraged person. Show me a couple focused on what their marriage can become, and anything is possible.
“Show me Christians focused on what their spiritual lives are light right now. In all likelihood they will be discouraged, but the minute they begin to focus on what their relationship with God could become, anything is possible.
“Show me a person who wishes he was in better shape physically but is focused on what his life is like right now, and he is probably discouraged. Yet all kinds of possibilities emerge the minute he focuses on what he could become in the future.
“Everything changes when we ask the question, “Am I able to see things not as they are right now but in terms of what they can be become?”
““I will make you become fishers of men,” Jesus said, and by following through on His word, He changed, is changing, and will change the world. Forever.
“Asking “What can this become?” accelerates you to the kind of fresh vision that fuels forward motion. Asking what things can become gives you hope and a future.
“If you feel discouraged or dejected about your life, or if you desire to move to a higher level of living now or in the future, no strategy is more powerful than to focus on what you can become rather than on what you are.
“Do your future a big favor. Give preference to become over is. The future you will thank you for it.
“The rest of us will thank you, too, because we all need your gifts and talents… “
The Hope Quotient, by Ray Johnston