>Most of the time, there’s more going on than meets the eye.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they give you several reasons for why they are making a certain decision but you get the sense that there is some emotional issue under the surface that is driving them to come up with all these reasons?
An important skill in life, and especially in leadership is learning to discern what the “thing behind the thing” is. There are the reasons people give for their decisions, behavior, and choices, but then there are the feelings underneath the reasons that often govern those decisions.
Its especially important to discern those things within yourself… why are you dating that girl, really? Why are you taking that job, really? Why are you buying that car, really? Why are you leaving your faith, really? A lot of times we invent justifications for our lives that for aren’t true nor are even logical. Many times beneath a decision is an emotional motivation.
For instance: in relationships, there have been people in my life where whenever I see them, I have an immediate, negative emotional reaction. Sometimes it is just a flash, but sometimes its a soundtrack that always plays in the background… and that emotional distaste for that person causes me to make decisions or “logical” judgements or criticisms about that person, when really deep down it was an emotional thing that may be rooted in my own insecurity. I was talking with a friend about this the other day, and the phrase he used to describe it is this: the thing beneath the thing.
Its important to study it, because often YOU are the hardest person to be truthful with.
And if you do realize that emotional reaction… you have to remember that you can’t really attack an insecurity until you label it. That’s why it is critically important for every leader to be a student of the “thing behind the thing.” A lot of times, the conflicts you are having with people are more “personal” than you would like to admit, and there is an underlying emotional issue that is causing you to make all these rational justifications and arguments. Label that flash of emotion. What is it? Anger? Jealousy? Resentment? Inadequacy? That’s when you can begin to attack it with the truth.
Let’s stop lying to ourselves and to others. Label that “thing.” Then you can start listening, leading, and loving from a place of honesty and health.
“Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit what they were thinking in their hearts…” Mark 2:8