DCL 2.2 Instruction | The Lens Principle

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?”

Matthew 7:3-4

The Lens Principle: Who We Are Determines How We See Others

As faith-based leaders who desire to lead in a way that pleases God, we cannot separate healthy leadership from healthy relationships. Relationships are the currency of God’s Kingdom. In this notebook, (Winning With People) you will study several “people principles” that have helped leaders connect with people over the centuries. We believe they are timeless and universal. Beginning in this lesson, we will study biblical examples of each principle.

Let’s begin with the “Readiness Question,” Are we prepared for relationships? Many Christian leaders catch a vision and jump immediately into fulfilling that vision, without considering how to profile it for others. They fail to spend time and energy on how to enlist other people in the vision. Consequently, many leaders diminish their results, failing to include others by failing to use good people skills. Let’s examine these principles.

Video Presentation: Todd Mullins, Lead Pastor, Christ Fellowship, Florida

This is where the relationship journey begins. Leaders must understand that their perspective on people is determined by who they are themselves. More than any other factor, predisposition toward others impacts how they turn out as people and how our relationship will be with them.

A traveler nearing a city asked an old man seated by the road, “What are people like in this city?” The old man replied, “What were they like where you came from?” “Horrible,” the traveler reported. “They were mean, untrustworthy, and detestable in all respects.” The old man just smiled and said, “Ah, you will find them the same in the city ahead.”

Soon after, another traveler stopped to inquire about the people in the city. Again the old man asked him about the people where he was from. “They were honest, industrious, and friendly,” came the reply. The old man responded, “That’s exactly how you’ll find the people here.”

The old man was very wise. He knew that the way people see others is a reflection of themselves.

  • If I am a trusting person, I will see others as trustworthy.
  • If I am a critical person, I will see others as critical.
  • If I am a caring person, I will see others as compassionate.

 

Biblical Case Study: Nabal and Abigail (I Samuel 25:1-42)

As David and his men prepared to pass through Nabal’s property, David sent a few men ahead to ask Nabal if he could spare anything, such as food, wool or drinks. This was a fair question. David was known as the protector of the land, the one who had defeated Goliath and the Philistines, and was anointed by Samuel as the future king. Despite all this, Nabal refused. Although he was a wealthy man, he refused to give them anything and insulted them as he sent them away. Why did he treat a man like David this way? 

Nabal’s Failure:

Nabal may have had no idea what he was really doing. His self-awareness was low. He was so caught up in his own little world; his leadership skills were almost non-existent. Look at his symptoms:

1.  He grew wealthy and satisfied; he didn’t think he needed to build relationships (v.2).

2. He became selfish and distrustful of others (v.3).

3.  He neither gave nor received encouragement; he was numb to good attitudes (v.6).

4.  He forgot how others had blessed him in the past; he only counted losses (v.7-8).

5.  He belittled people and forgot their names; his insecurity prevented generosity (v.10).

6.  He saw no reason to help others; he suffered from self-centered motives (v.11).

7.  He was only interested in building his own “kingdom”—not God’s Kingdom (v.11).

Abigail’s Success:

Nabal’s wife, Abigail, heard about this mistreatment, and she knew David would retaliate. She approached relationships completely opposite to her husband. She ran toward David and won him over, so that he didn’t react to Nabal’s foolishness. David left in peace. Abigail displayed these characteristics:

1.  Risky initiative

2.  Emotional security

3.  Genuine humility

4.  Personal responsibility

5.  Selfless attitude

6.  Generous spirit

7.  Forthright approach

8.  Quick wit

9.  Eternal perspective

10. Kind affirmation

 

DISCUSSION

  • Are you a negative or positive person?
  • What is your perception of others?

 

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