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The Grace Project

Spiritual Intelligence

I consider myself to be truly blessed, not everybody is able to say that they love their work.  I do. I love my ‘work’ because it’s not ‘work’.  In my professional life I’m involved in Learning and Development. I work with Blue Chip companies who want to transition their managers into leaders managers.  
 
There is a stark difference between managing and leading.  We manage things but we have to lead people. Managers tend to think in terms of processes, leaders think about people.  Management is a science, leadership is an art.  
 
What my corporate clients don’t know at outset is that my goal is to enable them to discover who they really are and give them permission to bring their real or true selves rather than their false-selves to work, enabling people to live an lead authentically. 
 
There is nothing so liberating as being free to be who you are instead of having to pretend to be who you’re not but think that you ought to be if you want to be successful, popular or accepted.  That kind of life is frankly exhausting and is a major source of stress in the workplace and dare I say it in the church too.   
 
It is estimated that stress in the workplace is cost billions.  Almost a decade ago it was said that stress-related illness was costing the country £3.75billion a year.  Statistics say that each year, 150,000 people take at least a month of for ailments causes by job pressure.  More than 6.5million working days are lost and, at any time, an estimated 500,000 people are of sick with anxiety and depression; and that was in the boom before the credit crunch and the subsequent bust.   
 
Over the years I have and less clear water between what I do vocationally and that which I do professionally.   As the founder and Director of The Grace Project I’m committed to helping people discover who they really are in order that they can be all that they are in Christ.  
 
In both spheres my role is to help my people remove the obstacles and stretch out beyond the self-imposed barriers to being and becoming. But this requires change, deep change, a change that demands that they access a different type of intelligence; not IQ, even EQ (emotional intelligence) but spiritual intelligence (SQ).  
 
IQ (Intelligence Quotient)  - Focuses on the linear, logical and rational
EQ (Emotional Intelligence) - Focuses on our self-awareness, and our ability to manage relationship 
SQ (Spiritual Intelligence) - Focuses on our searches for meaning, integration and authenticity
 
In Life Coaching there is a helpful and portable formula that says: ‘Potential minus Interference equals Performance’.  What is fascinating is that even in a so called ‘secular’ construct, they know that it is their clients’ belief system that is the biggest interference. 
 
It has been well recgonised that success in life is not linked to IQ.  Today it is all about EQ but there are those of us who see beyond EQ to SQ, and it is SQ that ought to give the believer a distinct competitive advantage - but does it?
 
As Christians we are often even more muddled and restricted in our thinking than our non-Christian counterparts.  Many are caught on the horns of an illusory secular/spiritual dilemma.  So many Christians feel a sense of guilt, however, latent about being who they are. 
 
One of the reasons is because we have taken hold of the idea that for us to live is to live like Christ when the truth is that for us to live is Christ.  
 
An understanding of that little statement from Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a key to opening the door to your mind-of Christ-spiritual-intelligence or what I call CQ. 
 
Christianity is not about self-improvement; it is not even about living for God, nor is it about getting your sins forgiven, it is receiving His Life [Jn 10:10].
 
Christians aren't people who change their lives with God's help, they are a supernatural people who have exchanged their lives, theirs for His, by God's grace. 
 
We are not saved by His death but by His resurrected life [Roms 5:10] You can't have one without the other but it is imperative that you don't confuse one with the other. His death is the preamble to receiving His Zoe life, that is life as God has it in and of Himself.
 
Now if you saw yourself in Christ, if you saw yourself having the mind, the resources and the very nature of Christ would that in any way change the way you perceive your potential? 
 
Our youngest daughter, Francesca, sent me a text a few weeks back which said “when you change the way that you see, the things that you see change” they certainly do.  
 
How do you see yourself?
 
There are those in the coaching profession who believe that we are what we choose to believe that we are.  I disagree with that. To my mind we are who God says we are.  However, if we don’t know who he says we are the likelihood is that we’ll try to become who we think he wants us to be. One thing that I can promise you about that is that yours and my tainted image of God will ensure that we fall short of who we are and what we can be. 
 
It has been my experience that in reality, there seem to be only two groups of people on earth – those who live a life they do not have and those who have a life they do not live. The latter has nothing to attract the former. “Why,” asks the world, “should we come to your church?  It looks like it’s killing you!” If only it was! But the truth is that in having substituted religion for relationship and Christianity for Christ, there is nothing abundant about religion apart from the interminable boredom and the ever‑present anxiety. 
 
There is in my opinion a simple yet profound reason for this dys-function.  In offering it to you I realize that for many this will be where you will close the book and write it and me off once and for all but I hope you won’t do that.  I hope you’ll give me a hearing and acknowledge that you know that deep within you there is a sense that you know there must be more to the Christian life than what your currently experiencing.
 
Alright enough, let me make the play and you be the judge of whether your buying or not.
 
The single greatest inhibitor to your Christian growth is the Bible. Not the Bible itself you understand but the way that you’ve been conditioned by it.   Many of us have made the mistake of confusing the Word of God with The Logos (the Word) of God – Jesus.  
 
When most Christians use the term The Word what they are referring to the Bible. “What’s wrong with that?”  I hear you ask and that that’s a good question.  Well it’s an obvious point but a profound one I think.  The Bible contains the words of God written to man.  Jesus on the other hand is the Word of God in man.   We are not bible worshippers, we are Jesus worshippers. 
 
I was speaking at a house group recently and we were reflecting on the opening verses of  John’s gospel.   In a moment of amazing candour one of the group ‘confessed’ that they did not like reading the bible.  It was one of those erm there’s a six-foot elephant sitting on the desk moments!  It took but a moment before someone broke the silence …”neither do I” they said, and in saying it, it was as though a great weight had been lifted from their shoulders.  It was a wonderful moment.  By the time we’d gone around the room just about everyone had ‘fessed-up’ to what would have been unthinkable in their previous life in the church.  Christians admitting that when the read the bible, the earth didn’t move.
 
Now it’s important that you understand that these are people who love the Lord and love the Lord’s people. They just didn’t get the bible.  Now why is that?   Well, as one who believes the bible to be a ‘magical’ book which I read with the same enthusiasm that my children used to read bedtime stories I was pleased to be able to proffer an alternative vision of the Scriptures. 
 
The blunt truth is that for many believers the bible is either a rule book, a how to book, a technical guide or some sort of users manual.  It is a book about how to get saved and what to do if you want to stay saved.  It’s not really good news at all. It’s bad news or at best good news with strings.  Sadly, what was written as a love letter is read with kind of enthusiasm that a man with a cash flow problem opens his bills.  I suspect that there are some of us who have a hunch that that’s why the words of Jesus are written in red.   But you see to me the Bible is a menu, not the meal; it is a breadcrumb trail that leads me to the one who is my life.    
 
I’ve long since given up on trying to read it now a-days I allow it to read me.  As Jesus himself said  John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
 
So here is the problem in a nutshell: you either interpret God through the lens of what you know (or think you know) about the Bible or you interpret the Bible through what you know about God.   The difference is fundamental.  When the Bible is read through the prism of what we know about God the light that is diffused is one of assurance, a prism of assurance; however, when we interpret God through the Bible what we often end up with is living in a Prison of Performance.   At the risk of jettisoning our relationship ever before we get started I want to say that for many Christians it is the very book that was designed to bring you hope that has been taught to you in such a way as to render you feeling hopeless and unable to grow to your full potential.   
 
 If we could just see that one simple point we’d open up to ourselves as world of hope and access the vast reservoir that is the Christ-as-us-potential that resides in us all.   
 
In my corporate life, my job is to look into the soul of an organization and help them to see who they are.  It is the same in my vocational work.  When the revelation or realization comes the liberty that follows it is simply wonderful.  Now you can’t call that work can you?
  

 

 
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The strap-line of The Grace Project - "Discover who you Really are" - suggests, we take the view that many, if not, most believers not only have yet to discover this truth but worse, in the absence of this awareness, they (we) are left to live out of our "own" resources with the inevitable consequences of burnout and disillusionment.

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