Equipped with vastly effective mind capacity, humanity ought to recognize that without observation, jeopardy is awfully prospective. But rarely do people view this datum as an acceptable reality. Taking things for granted, is what sustains the current calamitous environment.
In human relations, observation can also be an effective skill, when applying the golden rule: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) (ESV).
The application of the golden rule is not possible without combining observation with listening. But observation can, actually stand independently. It is only observation that enables avoiding taking things for granted.
The problem with listening, without observation, is that many people say things they do not actually mean. There is a lot of pretence out there. Only when combining listening with observation, can one be able to extract truth from fellow humans who seem more comfortable with pretence than reality.
The golden rule does not necessarily mean that the things we like are equally likable to everyone else. It means putting yourself in other people’s shoes, to understand their feelings, whether problematic or acceptable to you.
You have to suspend your own feelings to understand other people’s feelings. That can be achieved by proper observation. In marriage, couples experience serious challenges, due to failure to utilize this type of communication skill.
A husband may buy some expensive material for his wife, considering it to be what his wife would appreciate. However, the man gets surprised when the same wife complains, feeling unloved, as to cause a quarrelsome relationship?
Most marriages fail, due to inability to apply the principle of observation in communication. Interestingly, even talking about things considered as biblically sound among Christians, should not be viewed as communication.
The most important principle to know about communication is that it is not about talking. Communication is more about listening and observation. Good listeners are also good observers and, therefore, good communicators.
There may be other factors that cause marital failures but on top of the list is poor communication. For instance, in one of my posts, I shared [Seven Keys for marital success]. The first key highlights the fact that marriages should not be sustained by reason.
Whether the person proposing, or agreeing to a marriage proposal is assumed as attracted by reason or not, depends on observation. The process of observation can, indeed, be helpful when desiring to understand the reality of the person proposing or being proposed for marriage.
The communication that involves listening and observing, can effectively address any kind of relational problem. Supposing the young man is attracted by the beautiful looks of the girl being proposed. The only way that the girl can be able to access truthful information is by observing.
The young man may be articulate in stating that he would be prepared to die for the girl, on provision of unconditional love. However, with observation, the actual truth gets revealed, one way or the other. The test could be through his attitude towards the disadvantaged people?
An intelligent young girl is able to deduce truth, through the art of observation, before deciding whether the person is the right one, for marriage or not. The girl could still decide to marry the young man, but with full understanding of what she would be getting herself into.
The principle of observation seeks to understand the other person for who he/she, actually, would be. Truth is the only thing that frees people. All challenges that we face as human beings are a result of falsehood, coming from untruthful people. It is only through observation that truth comes out.
All scientific conclusions are a result of careful observation, whose analytical results are what make advancements in medicine and other valuable scientific information. The same could apply on issues to do with human relations.
Marital failures are generally a result of failure to observe. Before engaging in marriage, couples fail to carefully observe each other, in terms of interests and career pursuits. They also fail to observe each other, in terms of their respective strengths and weaknesses.
While couples in marriage ought to be a necessary combination in sustaining abilities and qualities; strength and weaknesses are often the source of quarrels. This gets complicated by the inability to understand the valuable principle of altruism, as compared with self-centredness.
Observation ought to be a tool to reveal opportunities to serve or being served. In a church setting, each member, when observing properly, will always discover areas in need of service, where no-one else could fill the gap.
There can also be many areas to benefit from other Christians with peculiar spiritual gifts. As highlighted in 1 Corinthians 12, Church members are diversely equipped with spiritual endowments, to benefit the Church, as an organism. Such spiritual gifts can only be discovered through the principle of observation.
Paul uses the analogy of human body parts. Not a single of those body parts can claim to be more useful, or less necessary, as compared with the other parts of the anatomy. See [False data stripping, towards true leadership].
Under the current environment, a pastor is assumed as spiritually more gifted than the rest of the congregants. He/she is therefore, unnecessarily, granted the authority to guide the Church.
In his/her pastoral responsibilities, he/she may be good or bad, as determining the quality of that Church organization. But quality alone does not always denote Godly approval or disapproval of the Church organization?
However, it is doubtful that pastors can always observe with clear conscience. For instance, the pastor may fail to acknowledge someone with the gifts assumed as overriding pastoral authority. This is because a pastor is traditionally taken as an overall leader of a Christian group. However, Christ’s teachings invalidated that viewpoint? (Matthew 23:8-12).
This highlights the wickedness in Church hierarchical structures. Everything changes when everyone accepts Christ’s teachings: “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher and you are all brothers” (Matthew 23:8) (ESV). See [Pastor—The centre of confusion in Churches].
When declaring that all are brothers, Jesus is not saying all Christians are to be zombies, as not expected to do anything. The principle of observation solves the problem of who is supposed to be doing what, in a church environment. Everyone is, therefore, granted an opportunity to serve.
According to 1 Corinthians 12, and Romans 12:3-11, Paul shows that each member is equipped with spiritual gifts, which others do not have. This means that each individual Christian carries peculiar spiritual gifts to serve according to the directions of Jesus. See [Every Christian carries pastoral responsibility]
Any church organization, regardless of size, has the potential to become God’s effective instrument. The functionality of the Church becomes comparable to a high performing engine. It becomes something that the worldly organizations would even desire to emulate and apply in achieving their own objectives.
Individuals in that Church organization are recognized for whatever talent, each of them is gifted with. No-one envies other people’s talents as each person enjoys doing what he/she is capable of doing, to benefit others. Everyone becomes valued for whatever the person is identified with.
The idea of adulating other fellow human beings while despising others cannot be from God, who created every human being in His own image (Genesis 1:26). It is sponsored by the devil who encourages valuing pride, ahead of humility.
In a church environment, this does not necessarily mean that everything will always be as smooth as can be imagined by the reader. Jesus Christ indicated that there would be weeds (Matthew 13:24-30).
However, such weeds do not need to be treated with scorn. Bear in mind that a church organization is a training ground for the called out ones. All things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28).
When cursorily looking at the character of the twelve disciples, one can be surprised as to how Christ could use some of those characters? Jesus did not use the method used in the current civilization, where the most suitable candidates are selected by using Curriculum Vitae, or Résumé.
Even the traitor was allowed to co-exist with the rest of the disciples. Jesus had been aware of Judas Iscariot’s motives. It was still the ability to observe that enabled Jesus to choose those disciples, according to His mission.
Indeed it is still the ability to observe, for a person to appreciate that Christ knew everything about His disciples. Judas Iscariot was the most suitable candidate to accomplish what he did to Jesus.
A Church organization is supposed to be a training ground, as Christians are accorded with royal responsibilities in God’s Kingdom (Revelation 2:26). This is why a Christian has got no liberty to hate his/her enemies.
Instead, the instruction of Jesus is that a Christian is expected to love those enemies, including sincerely praying for them (Matthew 5:43-44). Unless transformed by the renewing of the mind, a Christian is, unfortunately, serving the devil, when sincerely assuming to be serving God.
A Christian is called to be a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). While observation is acknowledged in scientific world, ordinary humans have, instead, been taught to just trust those conferred with leadership responsibilities without question.
Ordinary people are encouraged not to bother themselves with what they could potentially do to serve others. Their ability to observe is also invalidated, causing them to fail to check whether other people possess what they promise or not.
It may not be easy to change the current world civilization. But I suppose those sincere in desiring to be transformed according to God’s word; this article can be one of the useful resources to bring commendable results.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99