Would you like to help someone be more than they ever thought they could be? I’m pointing out how Jesus dealt with people so that we can learn some important people skills from the Master. And Jesus was an expert at inspiring people to greatness.

Think about his famous disciple, Peter. When he first met Jesus he was called Simon. But we read in John 1 that “Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas’ (which, when translated, is Peter” (John 1:42).

Cephas and Peter both mean rock. Jesus called him rock. I wonder how Peter felt when Jesus changed his name. I’m quite certain he had some understanding of the meaning of this name change. Jesus was telling him, in effect, “Peter, I want you on my team. You’re going to be my rock. I believe in you, Peter, and you can be greater than you’ve ever imagined.”

This humble, uneducated fisherman did indeed become great in the kingdom of God. It didn’t happen overnight, you will recall. Peter stumbled along the way many times. But Jesus had given him a new name and called him what he would become. Jesus demonstrated faith in Peter and in spite of his failures, Jesus never gave up on him until he realized his destiny.

If you want to help someone be all that they can be, start calling them what they can become. You probably won’t be able to change their name, but you can say things like, “I believe you could learn to make a very effective presentation. You are good in front of a group.” Or, “You know, you’re good at numbers and statistics. I think you could be great in our research department.” Or to your child, “Honey, you do so well in English. I can see you as a great writer.” Or to your mate, “You have such good insight into people; I bet you’d be a great counselor.”

Something that simple can give a person new hope, a new image of themselves, and it could make a major difference in what they are able to achieve and do. So, call some people names today like Jesus did for Peter. Call them what they can become and it will inspire them to go for it.