What If We Had Higher Expectations?

Humans are hardwired by God to be in relationship with Him and with others.

  1. God is a Triune God so each part of the Godhead is in relationship with the other parts—John tells us in his epistle that God is love, meaning there is both a Lover and a Beloved.
  2. We are created in God’s image—we are made to love and be loved.
  3. God affirmed our need for relationships with others—see Genesis 2:18.
  4. Relationships with others give us a return on investment, help in trouble, encouragement in dark times, and protection from attack—see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
  5. Christians being in healthy relationships with others is a testimony to just how powerful God’s love is.

Sadly, Brennan Manning pointed out that Christians “have come a long sad journey from the first century, when pagans exclaimed with awe and wonder, ‘See how these Christians love one another!’”

When I read this, I don’t want to throw in the towel, but I want to reclaim this awe and wonder! 

One of the things that will quickly kill relationships is having low expectations for the other person or for the relationship itself. This can be counteracted by having higher expectations for other people and for our relationships with them.

John Maxwell noted, “People rise or fall to meet our level of expectations for them. If you express skepticism and doubt in others, they’ll return your lack of confidence with mediocrity. But if you believe in them and expect them to do well, they’ll wear themselves out trying to do their best.”

Consider the high expectations that God had for a relationship with us. If He had low expectations, one of the best-known verses in the Bible would be, “God thought a few people in the world had something worth saving, so He sent a handful of angels to tell us His story.”

Instead, the verse tells us: God so loved the entire world that He sent the very best that He had—He sent His One and Only Son!

  • Jesus died for us when we were unworthy of His love
  • Jesus gave us all His authority to represent Him in the world
  • Jesus empowered us with His Holy Spirit to be His witnesses
  • Jesus told us that our love for others would be a blazing sign to that we were His

Since God has this high expectation for us … what would happen if we had the same high expectations for everyone with whom we came into contact? What would happen if we believed the best for everybody, and then gave all that we could to bring the best out of them? I think that once again people would exclaim with awe and wonder,

“See how these Christians love one another!”

We will be talking more about Relationship Builders & Killers this Sunday and I would love if you could join me!

6 Quotes On Helping Others

think-on-these-thingsJohn Maxwell, in his book Think On These Things, challenges us to think differently about the world around us. Here are six quotes on how we should think differently about those who are in need.

“The beauty of genuine concern is its willingness to become involved without being influenced by the ‘price tag.’”

“How many lives are wasted and destroyed because the world’s attitudes and actions toward needy people say ‘I couldn’t care less’? How beautiful this world would be if this unchristian philosophy was replaced with Christian attitudes until people would begin saying, ‘I couldn’t care more.’ If I am to say to my world, ‘I couldn’t care more,’ I must open my eyes and look for hurting people.”

“Jesus was concerned that others would see the hurts of humanity and respond with care. Too many times we, like the disciples, see only the problems of people. We feel the frustration of their failures and the weight of their weaknesses. We remember only the reliance upon our strength and forget our obligation to freely give what we have received.”

“My helping hand to a needy world is empty unless love is the motive. Material handouts are a poor substitute for love and understanding. People do not need more trinkets, they need more tenderness.”

“It is sad to realize that many people have needs that very few can meet. The reason? Most people concentrate their efforts on picking fruit instead of producing it.”

“The next time you want to help someone who is in difficulty, stop and think. Why not change your approach? Instead of ‘telling it like it is’ why not ‘tell it like it could be.’ Before you begin to question my motives, let me state that I am not asking you to be dishonest. I did not say, ‘Tell it like it could never be.’ I said, ‘Tell it like it could be!’ … When you ‘tell it like it could be’ you help others to see things more clearly. There is no better way to change a problem than to help someone see a solution. Many times people with problems become slaves to their situation because they can see nothing but problems.”

To read more quotes from Think On These Things, click here. To read a review of this book, click here. And to see quotes from John Maxwell and other notable thinkers that I post daily, please follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

9 Quotes From “Leadership Promises For Every Day”

leadership-promisesLeadership Promises For Every Day is a devotional book for leaders and aspiring leaders. A passage from the Bible is combined with a passage from one of John Maxwell’s outstanding books. It’s an excellent way to start your day! If you haven’t already, check out my review of this book here, and then enjoy a few quotes—

“How many leaders have ruined their lives and damaged the lives of others through immorality? Character has become a crucial issue today precisely because of the myriad of leaders in the political, business, and religious worlds who have fallen morally. No doubt they fall partly because the enemy has targeted leaders for attack. Leaders need to remember that they influence many others beyond themselves; they never fall in a vacuum. They also need to realize that replacing fallen leaders is a slow and difficult process.”

“Our goal among brothers should not be to punish or excommunicate, but to restore. Confrontation is a redemptive act of leadership.”

“Leaders need to respond to individuals based on their needs rather than their faults. … Good leaders do this well. They don’t lead out of a predetermined package of behaviors, but size up every situation and discern what must happen to reach the desired goal.”

“People rise or fall to meet our level of expectations for them. If you express skepticism and doubt in others, they’ll return your lack of confidence with mediocrity. But if you believe in them and expect them to do well, they’ll wear themselves out trying to do their best.”

“Leaders must constantly ask if their plans fit God’s revealed will for them and their organization. Then they must ask if their plans remain relevant to the needs of their mission, their values, their vision, and their long-range objectives. Finally, they need to ask if their plans fit the needs of their culture and time.”

“We need to remember that when people follow behind us, they can only go as far as we go. If our growth stops today, our ability to lead will stop along with it. Neither personality nor methodology can substitute for personal growth. We cannot model what we do not possess. Begin learning and growing today, and watch those around you begin to grow.”

“Servanthood is not about position or skill. It’s about attitude.” 

“People who blame others for their failures never overcome them. They simply move from problem to problem. To reach your potential, you must continually improve yourself, and you can’t do that if you don’t take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes.”

“Laughter breeds resilience. Laughing is the quickest way to get up and get going again when you’ve been knocked down.”

I am always sharing great quotes from John Maxwell and others on Twitter and Tumblr. If you’re not following me there, please do so!

Leadership Promises For Every Day (book review)

leadership-promisesJohn Maxwell wisely noted, “The secret to your success can be found in your daily agenda.” He also says, “All’s well that begins well.” With those two thoughts in mind, his Leadership Promises For Every Day can be a key component to a leader’s success.

For 20+ years John Maxwell has written extensively and persuasively on leadership development. In fact, my library has an entire shelf devoted to his wisdom! I have benefited from all of his books, as they have helped me go deeper into various leadership topics.

But Leadership Promises is a different way of presenting Maxwell’s wisdom. Instead of a deep dive into specific topics, this devotional presents a broad foundation across the entire leadership spectrum. Each day’s leadership thought is introduced with a passage from the Bible, and then a relevant passage from one of Maxwell’s outstanding books.

As I have included Leadership Promises in my beginning-of-the-day routine, I have found timely insights I have needed for each day. I have also found that discussing each day’s thought with a friend who is also reading this book has added a deeper dimension to both of our leadership development.

Whether reading this on your own or as means of starting a discussion with other leaders-in-training, Leadership Promises will help you soar in your personal leadership growth. It takes just a few minutes to read each day’s lesson, but I’m sure you will find, as I have, that you will be contemplating the wisdom all day long.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Favorite 2016 Posts

Book Reviews From 2016

John Maxwell On Helping Others

In John Maxwell’s book Think On These Things, he encourages us to think about our world the way Jesus thinks about the world. This must lead to us loving and serving others!

maxwell-stooping“The way to the top is not ‘stepping on others,’ but ‘stooping to help others.’”

“How many lives are wasted and destroyed because the world’s attitudes and actions toward needy people say ‘I couldn’t care less’? How beautiful this world would be if this unchristian philosophy was replaced with Christian attitudes until people would begin saying, ‘I couldn’t care more.’ If I am to say to my world, ‘I couldn’t care more,’ I must open my eyes and look for hurting people.”

“Jesus was concerned that others would see the hurts of humanity and respond with care. Too many times we, like the disciples, see only the problems of people. We feel the frustration of their failures and the weight of their weaknesses. We remember only the reliance upon our strength and forget our obligation to freely give what we have received.” 

“My helping hand to a needy world is empty unless love is the motive. Material handouts are a poor substitute for love and understanding. People do not need more trinkets, they need more tenderness.”

“The next time you want to help someone who is in difficulty, stop and think. Why not change your approach? Instead of ‘telling it like it is’ why not ‘tell it like it could be.’ Before you begin to question my motives, let me state that I am not asking you to be dishonest. I did not say, ‘Tell it like it could never be.’ I said, ‘Tell it like it could be!’ … When you ‘tell it like it could be’ you help others to see things more clearly. There is no better way to change a problem than to help someone see a solution. Many times people with problems become slaves to their situation because they can see nothing but problems.” 

If you would like to read my review of Think On These Things, please click here. And you can read some other quotes I shared from this book by clicking here.

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