Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Building a Representative Democracy

In the last post I spoke about the fact that a representative democracy requires its citizens to learn a high level of interpersonal skills. Interacting with others on issues of great importance push our emotional buttons and tempt us to lose our cool. But, as the Bible says, "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger for human anger does not achieve the righteousness of God". James 1:19-20

For a long time I have tried to train Christians to listen to one another and learn how to quell their angry emotions as well as successfully deal with conflict. It is not easy to do this but the work is worth the patience it takes to accomplish the goal.

In fact, the scripture clearly calls us to allow the Holy Spirit to develop dynamic crop of healthy interpersonal fruit. In Galatians 5 is a list of intra-personal and inter-personal fruit that St. Paul sees as the core of the mature Christian life. They are:

Self Control

Part of my doctoral dissertation focused on relating this list with the positive interpersonal skills found in most counseling and management training manuals. St. Paul's list is remarkably similar to the aspects and attitudes found by psychologists in the most effective influencers.

As we Christians grow in God's grace and mercy toward one another and let go of anger, bitterness and judgmentalism the Spirit's positive aspects will be able to thrive in our relationships. This will inevitably lead to better discussions and happier solutions to family and political problems.

The classes we teach in the USA and around the world enables Christians to speak the truth in love and make better decisions. Our American way of life came out of a Christian background that was soaked in free church dialogue. Authoritarian and state church systems were unsuccessful in the Colonies because the early pioneers were looking for freedom from dictators.

As our ministries grow around the world and touch people unused to healthy decision making we will see increasingly large numbers of believers rise up the ladders of politics, business and education. We promote "A lifetime of great relationships".

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