Jesus had gone up on a hill with His disciples. Before long, He looked up and saw in the distance a great multitude coming toward Him. Anticipating the problem, He asked Philip, one of the twelve disciples, the above question. He already knew what He would do to solve the problem (He already had a solution), but He asked anyway to test that disciple.
What strikes me here is that Jesus was able to anticipate the problem just by looking at the crowd that was approaching. This is a rare skill. Thinking ahead and anticipating what will happen are of great value in all areas of life. If you think ahead and anticipate the problems that can happen, you will be ahead of most people. And so you can take preventative measures or prepare for the inevitable. You are the employee that every employer would pay double to have on their payroll.
Everyone has the ability to anticipate certain things by using logic, intelligence and imagination. Just put your mind to work.
Another important point is Jesus’ objectivity in defining the problem: “Where will we buy food for all these people to eat?” That is, He went straight to the point, quickly, clearly and bluntly. “These people will feel hungry” (problem). “Where will we buy food for them?” (searching for a solution). He wasted no time feeling sorry or blaming others.
One of my biggest frustrations is to work with people who (1) do not anticipate problems, (2) do not know how to define a problem objectively, and (3) have no solutions, only complaints.
To think like Jesus is to do the opposite.
Application: Practice anticipating what can go wrong or happen. From heavy traffic that can cause delays tomorrow morning to how you are going to support yourself when you are old. Prevent or prepare for difficulties. Be objective when you speak—don’t stall or beat about the bush. Focus on results. Define the problem correctly. And come up with solutions, not just complaints.
Can you remember any problem or situation that could have been avoided if only you had thought ahead? Do you have trouble being objective and straightforward? How can you practice objectivity? Are you the whiner who always points out problems but never comes up with a solution? Leave your comments.
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