Are Relational Proficiencies Biblical?

by Glenn Davis

In my last article, I asked the question, “Are Relational Proficiencies necessary?”

I believe that they are necessary.  They are the conduit through which we are able to bless others.

Relational proficiencies are being taught and practiced with success in the business world.  But are they Biblical?  I believe the answer is “Yes”.

What I want to do in this article is identify each of these five relational proficiencies and then look to the Bible to see what is taught.

  1. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence has many soft skills wrapped into it.  This includes things like empathy, self-awareness, and the ability to read the room.

Emotional Intelligence may not help you know what to say, but it does help you know when to respond, and how to respond.

Proverbs 23:1–3 (ESV)

“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you,

and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.

Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.”

Proverbs 23:6–9 (ESV)

“Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies,

for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words.

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.”

Both of these passages teach us the importance of knowing who you are talking to, and knowing how to respond to the situation.

Do you know the 9-8-9 Rule?

Proverbs 9:8–9 (ESV)

“Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”

Or what would have happened to Nathan the prophet if he was lacking in Emotional Intelligence when addressing King David and his sin?

  • Active Listener

Again, Proverbs has much to teach us.

Proverbs 29:20 says, Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

James teaches us that we should be, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”

When we do not listen well, we often only get half of the story and we miss diagnose.  Consider Proverbs 18:17.  When we only hear part of the story, we often miss out on the whole truth.

  • Supportive Coach

Becoming a supportive coach has to do with moving from being a teller, to becoming a listener who can help others find their own answers.  As pastors, we have been trained as tellers.  As associational leaders, we need to work on learning to listen, and to ask good questions.  Supportive coaches ask questions. 

Who was better at asking good questions than Jesus?

John 3:10 (ESV)

“Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?””

Matthew 16:15 (ESV)

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” “

Luke 24:26 (ESV)

“Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”

The Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders is working right now to train men in Gospel Coaching so that they will be able to provide coaching training to any associational leaders who want the training.

As I write this article, I am sitting in the Atlanta airport, returning home from the first part of Gospel Coaching training.

  • Authentically Vulnerable

Any time we give the impression that we are always right, or we are without sin, we fail in following the example of men like the Apostle Paul.  Paul called himself, “chief of sinners.”

  • Vocal Encourager

The Bible reminds us again and again that our words are to be used to bless and encourage and build others up. 

Consider Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

We need to work on developing relational proficiencies because they are Biblical.  This is the way that God intends us to relate to one another.

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