By Dr. Dharius Daniels
Every single area of your life is inevitably impacted by your relationships. Your spiritual, physical, financial, emotional, and professional progress is tied and tethered to who you allow to be a part of and influence your life. Therefore, if you are serious about taking your life to the next level, you should be serious about taking your relationships to the next level.
One of the wisest men to have ever lived, King Solomon, put it this way in Proverbs 13:20: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Solomon suggests that we ultimately become like those we walk with. You may have heard it put another way: “Association breeds assimilation.”
In other words, there is no such thing as a casual relationship. All relationships are consequential. They are catalytic. They push us forward or hold us back. They propel us into purpose or push us into pain. They bring joy or bring sorrow. They are incredibly impactful, even when we are unaware of their impact. Paul told the people of Corinth in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” I’d like to pose a question. Why would Paul warn the audience of this epistle to not be misled? Could it be because he understands that it is possible for us to be oblivious to the impact that our relationships have on our lives?
Paul must have understood something that I think is important for you and me to understand. Whether we realize it or not, our relationships are “purpose partners.” Our purpose requires people. We never go just as far as our dream; we go as far as our team. We need more than people who simply provide us company; we need people who help us carry out our calling. We need more than a circle; we need a squad. Therefore, some people’s presence in our lives are not accidents; they are expressions of God’s providence.
God sends certain people into our lives in certain seasons for certain reasons. However, while God sends them, we must see them. God releases them, and we must recognize them. God assigns them, and we must align them. As a pastor, I often hear people say, “Well, Pastor, I don’t need friends. God fulfills my every need.” Absolutely. God does. But there are some needs he fulfills directly, and then there are other needs he fulfills indirectly. Is that not what happened in the Garden of Eden? God essentially said, “Even though I’m here, there’s something Adam needs that’s going to come in the form of a person.”
Enter Eve. God creates Eve and sends her to Adam as a helper, but Adam also saw her that way and treated her accordingly.
When something is this consequential, we must be incredibly intentional and intelligent about how we manage it. I know you may not be accustomed to seeing the word intelligence associated with the word relationships. However, I’d contend that if there is anything we need to be intelligent about, it’s our relationships. As Jim Collins writes in his book Good to Great, we need the right people on our bus and we also need them in the right seats. Everyone in our lives has a place, and we must put them there.
Relationships are about more than relationships; relationships are about your life. Therefore, relationship management is life management.
Adapted from Relational Intelligence: The People Skills You Need for the Life of Purpose You Want by Dr. Dharius Daniels. Click here to learn more about this book.
Considering Jesus’s relational model for choosing the twelve disciples, Relational Intelligence will walk you through how to assess your relationships, define them, discern them, align them, and finally activate your relationships to unlock your greatest potential.
Years of ministry leadership experience and personal experience have convinced Dr. Dharius Daniels: there’s no such thing as a casual relationship. All relationships are catalytic — either pushing us forward into our God-given purposes or holding us back. Our spiritual, physical, financial, emotional, and professional progress is greatly impacted by who we allow to be a part of our lives and what part we allow them to play. With our destiny on the line, relationships are too consequential to nonchalantly roll the dice in managing them.
Relational Intelligence is your action plan for getting smart about your purpose partners. Relationships were God’s idea, writes Daniels, and when we understand and apply what God has to say about them we end up avoiding unnecessary relational turmoil, advancing in all areas of our life, and accomplishing our God-given purpose.
When your purpose is on the line, the cost of relational unintelligence is too great to pay. In this book, you will explore and learn how to activate the relational intelligence you need for the life of purpose you want. Learn more at dhariusdanielsrq.com.
Dr. Dharius Daniels is the founder and lead pastor of Change Church, a vibrant, diverse congregation. With a doctorate of ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, Dr. Daniels speaks to national audiences and sits on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals. He lives with his wife, Shameka, and their two sons in New Jersey, and you can follow him at DhariusDaniels.com.
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