by Diane Dotson
Eternal Context is found in Three Key Questions
After finishing my first coaching certification about 13 years ago, a Christian young man hired me to help him transition from a corporate job to his own new business. He wanted to work on the bridge between his high-paying, secure job and a business that he was interested in but knew nothing about. He had a wife and three young children.
I could feel the stress and anxiety of that corporate position that he’d held for so long and the almost overwhelming desire to do anything but that work any longer.
I knew what that was like, because that was me, 20 years before.
All of those feelings returned, including the questions:
What am I doing here?
How can I transition into something that I love to do?
How can I get out of here as fast as I can?
From that client interaction, a 10-year journey of discovery began which focused on this one question: What is the most important thing?
You see, once we understand the most important thing, we can see much more clearly how everything in our lives, including career, fits together. And we can partner with the Holy Spirit more effectively by aligning ourselves with what HE wants us to do. When we’re doing what he wants, he empowers us in ways we may not even understand.
So when I asked Jesus, “What is the most important thing?” he took me to the Greatest Commandment. It was the same question that the Pharisees asked over 2,000 years ago. And Jesus’ commandments are the same today as they were then:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
Love is an often confusing concept in our modern society, so I define love as the phrase, “healthy connection”. This is the phrase that I used when I developed the One80 Life Lens, a tool that brings eternal context to any question, decision, goal, or plan.
The One80 Life Lens interprets love as healthy connection that facilitates our spiritual growth and that of others, because the absence of healthy connection is dis-connection and decline. And so there are three connections that Jesus highlights that connects with his heart. They are:
- Connection with God (with the heart, soul, mind and strength)
- Healthy connection with others
- Connection with true self
Christian coaches have an opportunity to bring this powerful context into the coaching conversation. The One80 Life Lens is the context and the following powerful questions can be used to start a conversation around what is most important to the client from an eternal perspective:
- How does this (decision, relationship, priority, thing, etc.) help you (and others) connect more intimately and more lovingly to God?
- How does this help you (and others) connect to others in healthy ways?
- How does this help you (and others) connect to true self?
Applying this lens within this prioritized order will result in greater alignment with the most important things in life, releasing life and growth within you and between you and others.
The One80 Life Lens is a touch point, much like “home base”. Regardless of anything else going on, you can come back to this touch point and see how everything fits together. And it fits together because Jesus is that center-point. Everything makes sense from the flow of his heart.
Application of the One80 Life Lens would then look like this in conversation with the young man wanting to transition:
What is most important to you? How does that help you increase your connection with God? How does it help you connect with others in healthy ways? How does it help you connect with your true self, who God created you to be?
And just as important, how does God want to develop your true self in the context of your present job? How are you demonstrating love in that environment? And what do you need from the Lord to increase healthy connection with others. That posture of the heart is an important part of your true self.
There are many more questions to support an awareness of the centrality of Jesus and everything he offers in power and love. Maintaining an eternal life perspective can often be difficult while living in this world. The enemy has thousands of ways to distract and derail us from living out our purpose found in the Greatest Commandment. But All Glory to God, Jesus is the steady, unchanging and ever-present One who is the touch point for every question that ever existed. Keeping that awareness front and center brings assurance that we are connected with the most important eternal thing… Love.
For more information about these three connections, download the One80 Life Lens at one80life.com.