Habit #5 is to seek to understand before being understood.
In 1 Samuel 17, David is assigned to bring his brothers some food and report back to his father. When David arrives, he discovers the Philistine giant named Goliath. As David seeks to understand the situation, his oldest brother Eliab gets fired up.
Watch what Eliab says in 1 Samuel 17:28-29:
David’s oldest brother Eliab listened as David spoke to the men, and Eliab became angry with David. “Why did you come down here?” he asked. “Who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and your evil heart — you came down to see the battle!” “What have I done now?” protested David. “It was just a question.”
Eliab is angry and does not seek to understand David. In fact, he assumes David is arrogant and has an evil heart. On the other hand, when David arrived, he sought to understand the situation through questions. Watch the questions David was asking as he assessed the situation (read 1 Samuel 17:26-30)
David asked, “What will be done for the person who kills Goliath?”
David asked, “Who is this Philistine?”
David asked, “Why is this Philistine allowed to mock God?”
What happens next goes down as one of the greatest stories of all time. Word gets back to King Saul about David. David reassures Saul of victory as he recalls his previous victories against lions and bears. King Saul gives his approval, and the stage is set. David rocks out with a slingshot, slays the giant, and chops his head off. David is carried off in victory. Everyone is shouting his name. No one is shouting Eliab’s name.
As you become a highly effective believer, you must seek to understand. If you want better results, seek better questions.
There is a reason Jesus asked 307 questions while He was on Earth. Jesus was seeking to understand.
Let me tell you about the tricky part in the story of David and Goliath. The tricky part is fame. It’s the desire to be known. It’s the craving for validation. I am guilty of this, and it is a major downfall.
I am guilty of finding my value in the validation of others. I am guilty of seeking validation from others. I am guilty of allowing my value to be attached to my accomplishments.
If any of these statements resonate with you, I want you to take some time to reflect. Repent and ask God to forgive you for not believing in Him. You are reading this for a reason. Now is your time, don’t wait.
What do you need to believe about yourself?
What does God’s Word say about your value?
What is stopping you from believing what God says about you?
As you begin to see the greatness that God has created you to be, it will bring more confidence so you can seek to understand. Proverbs 18:13 says, “The one who gives an answer before he listens — this is foolishness and disgrace for him.” Proverbs 19:27 says it like this, 'If you stop listening to correction, my son, you will stray from the words of knowledge.” Let me lay another set of verses down to think about. 'Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 2:4-5
What does looking not in your own interest but the interests of others look like to you? What does a highly effective believer look like to you? What does a highly effective believer talk like?
What do they think like?
How do they treat other people?
What is their temperament?
What does self-discipline look like for you?
I know these questions may take some for you to consider. That is exactly what I want you to be doing. Slow down and take your time. You must have a clear, distinct picture of what the 2.0 version of you is going to look like. If you can’t see it yet, take more time. This is how you live with the end in mind.
Imagine yourself understanding others first.
Imagine how you will be speaking to others.
Imagine how they will be speaking to you.
Imagine your temperament and attitude.
Imagine what your face will look like.
Imagine who will be with you.
Remember, you are not doing this alone. I love what Psalms 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel.” You are right where you need to be. Everything in life is happening for you. As you seek to understand others, you will become the highly effective believer God has called you to be.
It’s time to max out and live the life God intended for you.
Let me know what resonated with you.
I’m rooting for you. I’m praying with you.
Coach Anthony Thompson