Terminal vs. Relational Thinking
The idea for this and several additional MMMs came from the book, Guidebook to Discipleship, by Doug Hartman and Doug Southerland.
In last week's MMM we talked about having a goal in life, which is to glorify God. The person who is effective in maintaining that perspective and vision is the individual who has learned to think relationally rather than terminally.
"Terminal" thinking is the process whereby activity and knowledge are objectives and ends within themselves. It is thinking that does not relate daily activities to a larger, overall objective. It tends to be thinking that is short-range, static, seeks to please others around them, and is controlled by progams. Terminal thinking is how most of us have been trained to think. Now, not all terminal thinking is "bad" thinking -- it's just not complete thinking.
"Relational" thinking, on the other hand, seeks to relate activities and knowledge to a specific objective. It tends to be thinking that is long-range, creative, seeking to please God, and uses programs to accomplish a larger or more comprehensive objective.
Here are some typical activities in which you may find yourself involved. After each activity is a typical "terminal" (T) and "relational" (R) answer to the question. Before you read the answers, answer the question for yourself. How would you score?
Jesus was a master of relational thinking. It can shift our perspective, making our everyday activities exciting, adventurous and life-changing. The time to begin is today.
Scripture: I Corinthians 10:31 -- "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
Action Point: Begin to develop the habit of thinking relationally rather than terminally. When you find yourself planning for or engaging in an activity, ask yourself the important question of "Why?"
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