Why Have A Collaborating Conversation
God's Word says that there is a safety available in a multitude of counselors in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
When To Have A Collaborating Conversation
Have a Collaborating Conversation when decisions need to be made and you are looking for God's best.
How To Have A Collaborating Conversation
Look for both sides of truth. Don't get stuck in a either/or mentality but learn how to collaborate and come into a both/and paradigm. Avoid all extremes Job 11:6
The first thing you need to do is to decide how you are going to decide and then you need to develop a noble plan.
Decide How You Are Going To Decide
First decide which of the four Biblical decision models you will use: command, counsel, choice, consensus
Command: You alone will determine the criteria for evaluating alternatives and select the solution or direction. You are simply informing your spouse that this is happening and that you will let them know when the decision is made. This model may require you to sell the decision in order to gain a sufficient level of commitment.
Counsel: You will invite your spouse and potentially others in to provide you advice but you will select the final solution or direction yourself. This model provides a higher level of commitment because your spouse has had input into the decision.
Choice: You have accounted for various solutions, all of which are acceptable to you (or at least the pros and cons are well understood), and want your spouse to help you make a choice between them.
Consensus: You are inviting your spouse into the discussion as an equal. The key to this model is that you must build a common view around the decision and you are willing to keep your influence equal to that of others providing input. This model has the highest level of commitment but may require you to compromise on certain factors that you consider important.
You will need to take into consideration the circumstances and the amount of cooperation and commitment you will need from other people to decide how you are going to decide.
This is doing the right thing. You need to ensure that your plan is in line with God's will and the "latter end". This means to see your plan and its results from God's perspective. Proverbs 19:20
- What do you believe God' desired results are?
- What are your desired results?
- As a person, partner, parent, provider, and proclaimer?
- What does the preferable future look like?
- What does success look like? Deuteronomy 28:1-68
- What does failure look like? Deuteronomy 27:1-28
This is doing the right thing in the right way. This explains the what and the how of the decision making process. You will need to think about the Commands of Christ, the Character of Christ, the driving forces, and discern your level of willingness.
The Commands of Christ
What commands apply in this situation?
The Character of Christ
What character qualities will be essential for evaluating the situation, generating alternatives, choosing a solution, and implementing it?
Think about the driving forces (causing you to need to make this decision or will help you to effect the solution) and the restraining forces (obstacles or attitudes that will impede you). This is also called a Forcefield Analysis.
- Are you operating out of pride?
- Are there wounds (trauma A or B) that are influencing the situation?
- What belief system are you operating under? If it is lies, "either or" vs "win win", you need to check your core beliefs about the problem.
- Are you operating out of sin, either willful or foolish?
- Are there bio-chemical forces at play? Are you overtired, hungry, other?
Discern Your Level of Willingness
To the extent that we are willing to do God's Will, we can be sure to see God's favor in the situation: He will provision, activate, and elevate us.
|Awareness of the need for change||Truth and reproof|
|Desire to support and participate in change||Willingness|
|Knowledge of how to change||Steps of Correction|
|Ability to implement change||God's power and obedience|
|Reinforcement to sustain change||Training in righteousness|
This is doing the right thing in the right way with the right stuff.
What equipment, training, space, or people do we need?
This is doing the right thing in the right way with the right stuff with the right timing.
- Who will do what by when?
- How will we measure progress?
- How often will we check progress?
This is doing the right thing in the right way with the right stuff with the right timing and with the right motives and rewards.
- What will be the rewards of doing God's will in His way, in His timing?
- What will be the natural consequences of neglecting God's will or if failure occurs?
- How will we handle failure?
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