Dealing with Relationships

Every person in life must deal with numerous relationship issues.  The pastor and other church leaders are not exempt from this as Christians are just as prone to relationship problems as others.  Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with relationships.

Killing a relationship

Gunnysack. Stores each problem and injury, and then, when sack is filled, it is dumped on floor and relationship is over. Accumulated anger and aggression will kill a relationship.

Scapegoat (who’s-to-blame). Someone is designated to carry the blame. When blame fixing continues over time it destroys relationship.

Denial of differences – bad way to avoid conflict.

Negative communication – most destructive force. Communication that is bitter, critical, and majors on something being wrong.

Relationships typically are not destroyed in one instant, but go through a series of steps before being destroyed.

Disregard – Inattention to others in relationship
Disinterest – Indifference and apathy toward partner
Divergence – Partners move in opposite directions
Detachment – Process of disconnection is completed

Restoring a relationship

1. Admit the current situation (Matthew 5:23–24)
2. Admit your selfishness caused it, and selfishness is sin. Ask God and others to forgive you, and you forgive others (Matthew 6:14–15; Colossians 3:12–13)
3. Put the needs of the other person first (Philippians 2:3–4)
4. Show love (1 Corinthians 13:4–8); be patient and kind
5. Thank God for the other person and their contribution to the relationship (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
6. Determine your commitment to the relationship; How important is it to you?
7. Communicate

Suggestions to improve human relations and morale

1. Create a sense of security. The need for security is a basic one for all people. A worker afraid of losing his job will not be the most satisfied or productive person.

2. Keep workers informed. Communication problems probably are the biggest hindrance to good morale. When there is not an official word, the rumor mill will provide information.

3. Involve the workers in the decision-making process. This is more significant today than at any other time in human history. Workers will not be satisfied and motivated unless they have a part in decision-making.

4. Be fair, impartial, and consistent when giving rewards and punishment. Showing partiality and being inconsistent from person to person and time to time will destroy morale. People want to know what to expect. Use care in criticism. Allow the person to suggest ways to improve. Praise in public, but always correct in private. Do show appreciation for good work. Try to give two pats on the back for one kick in the pants. Jesus’ messages to the churches in Revelation 2–3 are a good model. He mixed praise and criticism. Criticism is hard to take for anyone. Learn to confront correctly.

5. Make sure the worker understands the job from the beginning. The adding of responsibilities later can sharply decrease morale.

6. Give enough authority and freedom to get the job done. Tell a person what you want done, but not how to do it.

7. Stay optimistic and enthusiastic yourself. A good example by the leader is contagious. A work force that is optimistic and enthusiastic will have good high morale.

A short course in human relations

The six most important words are: I admit I made a mistake
The five most important words are: You did a good job
The four most important words are: What is your opinion?
The three most important words are: If you please
The two most important words are: Thank you
The most important word is: We
The least important word is: I

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