A lot of relational and offenses arise because people forget the difference between position and disposition.
“Position” = Your stance on a certain issue.
“Disposition” = The way you communicate yourself.
Okay so in case you’re not following me yet, here’s an example. Imagine that I’m your boss, and I need to make a change in your performance.
Scenario A: “Hey I love the quality of your widgets, but I really need you to step it up a notch in this area. Keep up the good quality!”
Scenario B: “What is your problem, Nerd?! You’re slowing down the whole line because you’re such an idiot. Hurry up and focus more – this part needs to be better!!” (Accompanied by negative nonverbal communication as well).
In both scenarios, the position was the same; you needed to perform better in a particular area. But the dispositions were drastically different.
Now here’s the catch – nobody ever sees past our dispositions. That’s so important that I’ll say it again: NOBODY EVER SEES PAST OUR DISPOSITION.
I wager to say that most misunderstandings are (for lack of a better word) *misunderstood*, and are actually a result of a bad disposition. This is a major portion of interpersonal conflicts, guys. This is actually kind of a big deal, at least as big of a deal as interpersonal communication is.
Your disposition needs to remain a positive one as much as possible, but its essential that it remains positive if you ever need to confront another on a sinful issue or concern. Christian screw this up all the time. Bad disposition is what turns a Christ following disciple into a bigot.
Bigots would say:
“Oh my gosh you did what?! You do know what you did was wrong, right? You’re such a sinner. I can’t believe I’m even talking to you. You ought to repent and READ YOUR BIBLE right now. Maybe you’ll stand a chance to not wind up in hell!”
Such a bad disposition! Nobody ever sees past that! Because of so many confrontations like that, it has caused the spirituality of so many Christians to dry up. We fear confessing our sins to one another because of it. Perhaps worse, we fear confronting another person on their sin because we fear sounding like it.
But we need to remember its not our position that’s the problem, its our disposition.
With a good disposition, we can lovingly and caringly challenge another Christian to live holy: “Hey, recently I seem to have noticed a lot of bitterness in you. You doing okay? Is there anything I can do to help?”
Christianity aside, far too many leaders in the workforce don’t ever make adjustments to their staff because they’re scared of being the meanie. I think this is a major reason leadership suffers so much in our nation – nobody wants to be the mean guy; everyone is scared of their disposition. But folks, its not the position (good employees WANT feedback), its the DISposition.
Wouldn’t our relationships be so much better if everyone read this blog?
Let’s get real, though – they won’t.
But you did.
Remember how I said that “NOBODY SEES PAST YOUR DISPOSITION”? Well, that’s not entirely true. You can. If you think about it. Sometimes people can be 100% wrong in their disposition but can be 100% right in their position. That position is what we need to listen for. It’s hard sometimes, but we need to get past HOW someone says something and actually hear what they’re saying. When they say something about you, it can be incredibly hurtful. When “corrections” are thrown at you in an insulting way, they may actually be only 1% right and 99% wrong in their position.
But that 1% of truth may make 100% of the difference in your life, if you’re smart enough to listen for it.