Purpose-Driven Life Pastor Rick Warren tells the following story, which vividly illustrates this principle:
“A friend of mine, Bruce, taught college in Oregon for awhile. When he began his first semester teaching there, he was told that the college placed students in English classes by their level of ability. Bruce was assigned to teach two “average ability” classes and one “advanced ability.” He really enjoyed teaching the advanced class: they seemed more alert, more fun, asked better questions, and, as expected, had a higher grade average than the other classes.
“On the final day of the semester, Bruce commented on these differences to the other professors in the faculty lounge. He said he hoped to get more of the advanced classes next semester. But to his surprise, his department director said, “Bruce, I don’t know where you got your information but we phased out the average/advanced distinction a year ago. You’ve been teaching mixed classes all semester like the rest of us!”
“Bruce couldn’t believe it! He checked his records, and sure enough, there were far more A’s and B’s in the class that he thought was full of smart kids. And he really had enjoyed teaching that class more. But the only real difference between the classes had been Bruce’s expectations of them."
Would you like to bring out the best in those around you? Here's the key: Treat them the way they could be! Don’t just “tell it like it is.” Tell it like it could be.
Jesus said, “According to your faith it will be done to you” (Matthew 9:29 NIV). What are you expecting from yourself . . . from others . . . from God?
(Adapted from What Do You Expect?)