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Relational Intelligence - What is Relational Intelligence?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 9, 2020 6:00 am

Relational Intelligence - What is Relational Intelligence?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 9, 2020 6:00 am

When you want to do something really well, you just don’t give it your best shot, you go into training, you take a class, hire a coach, or seek expert advice. In this program, with Ryan Ingram, we look into scripture to get God’s advice on how to make relationships deeper, better, and more intimate than ever before.


When you want to do something really well, you just don't give it your best shot. You go into training. You take a class. Maybe hire a coach.

Seek expert advice. We're going to begin a journey called Relational Intelligence. We want to get God's advice on how to make relationships deeper, better, and more intimate than ever before. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouie, and today we begin a new series called Relational Intelligence. Now, sometimes we do things just because that's the way we've always done it. The fact is that doesn't always mean it's the best way. In this new series, Relational Intelligence, we're going to pause to get God's perspective on some of our relational habits that haven't worked out so well.

Now Chip's teaming up on this series with his son Ryan Ingram, who's pastor of a vibrant young church in California. So today we're going to hear from Ryan as he brings us part one of his message, What is Relational Intelligence? from Proverbs chapter 14. If you're an extrovert or an extrovert, the deep desire of your soul is to have this life-giving, intimate, character-shaping relationship that has this rugged commitment to one another. Like you are hardwired and designed for meaningful, rich relationships. And it's not just any type of relationship, but it's an intimate relationship. It's where you really know someone and you're really known by someone. Life-giving, like when you're around them. You remember, maybe you've had friends like this, or you have someone, like when you're around them, you're just like, ah. Like your just soul is full.

You're refreshed. It's character-shaping. Like when you're around this person, you want to be a better person.

As the Proverbs says, as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. That there is this relationship that you're just growing and you're becoming more of who you were made to be through that relationship. And then that it's not this kind of like, you know, go with the flow relationship that has this rugged commitment to one another. Not a fair-weathered friend, not a fair-weathered marriage, but that you make this absolutely rugged commitment. You know that come hell or high water, they're going to be with you through the storms of life. You may not always like each other all the way through it, but there's this deep-seated commitment that we're with one another. And we all have this deep longing and desire. And the question, the question is simply, how in the world do we get that kind of relationship?

Right? How in the world do you get that type of friendship? It's life-giving, character-shaping, that you're really known and you know them.

How do you get that type of marriage? Life-giving, intimate. And the minute I said intimate, many of the guys' minds went to sex.

You're like, really? Intimate sex? Well, you can talk about that too. But where you're really known, how do you get that type of relationship? And here's what I would say, is in our culture and in our day, we do not need more relational information.

It's everywhere. What's needed for us to experience those types of relationships is actually what we're calling Relational Intelligence. Set another way, it's relational wisdom.

See, we live in a world that is absolutely overwhelmed with information and yet starved for wisdom. Now, what is Relational Intelligence? What is relational wisdom?

Why is this so important? Because I think as we begin to unpack this, you'll see why this is really the framework for us to experience those types of relationships. Relational Intelligence or wisdom is the skill of navigating relationships well. It's the ability, it's the skill. It's not just knowing, it is this absolute skill to navigate crisis well, to navigate conflict well, to navigate major decisions well, or maybe even financial or future decisions. Wisdom fundamentally isn't just information, it is a skill. Now, here's what's great about skills. You can grow and develop in skills.

Now, let me give you a little example to help us unpack this. Think about swimming. If I want to learn to swim, I can read a book. Most of you are like, well, you could just YouTube, but you're right. I could YouTube it. I could YouTube all the information about, you know, the proper stroke and techniques and all of those sort of things. Now, here's the thing. I am not a skilled swimmer or really know how to swim and tell what?

I get in the pool, right? I know intellectually, but I don't know experientially. And there's a massive difference between knowing intellectually and experientially.

And when I hop into the pool, all the stuff that I learned is now I'm beginning to put it into practice and develop a skill of swimming. This is Relational Intelligence. See, Relational Intelligence is not merely the acquisition of knowledge.

And this is why this series is a little problematic. Because for some, you want to put some nuggets of truth in your mind and walk away and feel like you're better at relationships. It does not work that way. Relational Intelligence is the proper application of the correct or right knowledge. That's wisdom.

It is the proper application. It's getting into the pool and swimming. I have to practice and put it into practice the way you develop a skill. Think about this. The way you develop a skill is I have to begin to use it, get coaching on it, and then have this consistent repetition to grow in it. It is the proper application of what?

The right knowledge. Now, think about this. Let's say that you want to grow as a swimmer. I don't know why I picked swimming.

I just did. And let's just say I'm hosting a night that is all a clinic, a swimming clinic. And then let's say Michael Phelps is hosting a swimming clinic just down the road.

Which clinic are you going to go to? Not mine. Why? Because I'm not the most decorated Olympian of all time. I'm just a guy that can swim.

Michael Phelps has the right knowledge that if you really want to learn the skill of swimming, I would go to his and I would close my clinic down and go to his as well. Now, think about this. The God of the universe who hardwired you and created you and actually understands how relationships were fundamentally meant to be designed and operate says I want to give you the skills and help you grow in this. And we need to then begin saying, OK, you know what?

I think I'll take your advice. This is a bad way to say it, so I'm sure I'll get a few emails from this. That's OK. God is the Michael Phelps of relationships.

Like, you can't compare that way. I know. I know it's a bad illustration, but you get it. You see, it's not merely the acquisition of knowledge. It is the application of the right knowledge. And so here's what our series is really fundamentally about. Our series is we live in a world filled with sound bites and relational advice that we just tend to swallow whole.

Never really evaluating. Is it true? Is it good or is it wise?

And there is a massive difference between sounding good, feeling good and actually being good for us. Now, if you flip to your Bibles, if you wouldn't mind opening up to the Book of Proverbs, actually, all you have to do is take the middle. Some of you have hard copies. Most of you have a digital copy of the Bible. Flip to the middle. You're pretty close.

You might have to flip back a little bit. Proverbs. It is the Book of Wisdom.

And the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. And there's these pithy sayings that are principles for life. It's important to know they're not promises. They're just principles. This is how life generally tends to operate. And if you apply them, you'll flourish in different areas, relationships, finances, you know, all the rest spiritually. And so if you turn to Proverbs Chapter 14, we see this incredibly powerful statement.

That I think is one in which we need to wrestle with the fresh when it comes to our relationships. The author says it this way. He says there is a way that appears to be right. But in the end, it leads to death. There's a way that that feels good. There's a way that sounds good. There's a way that looks good.

But in the end, it's killing us. There's a way that we're going about relationships, friends. Listen, there's a way that we're going about our dating. There's a way that we're going about our marriage. There's a way that we're going about our deep and core familial relationships that appear to be right. And we can even justify them. But in the end, it's undermining your relationships.

It's killing you. And we don't have to look very far to see this is true. In fact, let's just step back for a moment and look at the state of relationships in America. In America, there's this growing pessimism and finding a love that will last a lifetime. Fewer and fewer people are actually getting married. And you think about it, if you look around and if on average 40, 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Well, there's a good reason to be pessimistic about marriage.

Like, hey, man, you got a 50-50 shot. I don't know about that. Let's think about friendships. Friendships, we live in the most socially connected time, and yet people are more disconnected than ever. Americans are friendly but lonely, according to the Barna Research Group. Gen Z has been identified as the loneliest generation.

Wow. Gen Z that has grown up as a digital native, always been connected, and they're just hoping and coping and trying to make it through. It breaks my heart. This is across the board. One out of five Americans have no person they can talk to. Socially connected but completely disconnected. Let's look at family. The average family spends 37 minutes of quality time together. And some families will go, well, that's a lot of time. We just hope to get that amount of time.

In minutes, wow, where do you get that time? And maybe it's just the car drive, because when you're in my stage of parenting, I have two teenagers and an elementary school. All we are are unpaid Uber drivers for our kids. Just drive them from one thing to the next.

The average adult spends three hours on social media per day. Andy Stanley, pastor and author, had this incredible poignant statement about the families. Our kids are growing up experientially rich but relationally poor. In fact, as parents, don't we want to give our kids the experiences that we weren't able to get?

And so we spend so much money and effort and energy to give them all these experiences and to keep them from experiencing the bad things we experience, which are, you know, the things that helped shaped us into who we were made to be anyways. And yet they're growing up relationally poor. Or let's look at dating in America. Online dating has become the dominant way people connect, and there's nothing bad with that.

In fact, a lot of great things about that. Over half of all singles have created a dating profile. The great majority of people find dates this way.

It's interesting. Only 2% find dates in the church. Here's what online dating, though, has helped produce in our consumeristic culture, a swipe-right, casual, noncommittal, hookup dating culture. The rules of dating are always shifting. Technology and how we interact and what's, you know, do I respond? Is it the 48-hour rule? Is it the 72-hour rule? I don't know when to text him back!

Do I wait for him to text? I don't know. And so as a result, singles report to being extremely confused. Gen Z and millennials, however, still long to find a love that lasts. Gen Z and millennials say, yeah, that intimate, life-giving, character-shaping relationship that has this rugged commitment, that's what we want. And here's what's amazing in a hookup culture. Only 9% of singles really want to date casually. The vast majority say, no, we want a real significant relationship. And here's what we have to face. How we're going about relationships is not working. There is a way that appears to be right. But in the end, it leads to death. There's a way that looks good. May and feel good.

Certainly sounds good. But ultimately is undermining the very desired relationship that you long for. Now, some of you might be wrestling with me a little bit and going like, OK, Ingram, if Relational Intelligence or relational wisdom is so great, why isn't everybody doing it? Well, I'm so glad you asked.

Thank you. Let's talk about, I believe there are two main challenges with Relational Intelligence and why this is looked past in our culture. The first challenge with Relational Intelligence is it's countercultural.

It's completely countercultural. This is not the way everybody friends. This is not the way everybody dates. This is not the way everybody does relationships. Let me just say this real quick. If you like the results that everybody else is getting, then keep doing what everybody else is doing.

If you don't, you might want to consider Relational Intelligence. This is just a newsflash. It might shock some of you. Following Jesus is countercultural. Christianity from the very beginning, not just like in our day, from the very beginning, is completely countercultural. In fact, Paul, the apostle, when he's writing his letter to the Romans, which is this incredible letter, the first 11 chapters are unpacking the mercy and the grace of God. Like this is what Jesus has done for you. And then Chapter 12, he shifts in light of all that God has done for you. And he says, therefore, offer your bodies or present your bodies as a living sacrifice. This is your spiritual act of worship.

And then he says this great line. Do not conform to the pattern of this word. That word conform literally means to be molded. Don't be pressed in and molded to the pattern or the way that this world goes about dating. Don't be pressed in or molded into the pattern the way that people just tend to do marriage. Don't be pressed in and molded to the pattern of how everybody's going about friendship. He said, no, no, but be transformed.

Literally, the word means allow yourself to be changed and transformed. How? By the renewing of your mind. See, what we put into our mind is of principal importance. Then notice this. This is so good.

Don't miss this. Then you'll be able to test. That's the idea of testing the genuine genuineness of gold and approve, like determine and see that what God's will is.

Think about this. God's will is not that he's holding out. God's will is not that he wants the worst for you. God's will, his good, his pleasing and his perfect will for your relationships, for your life.

My God wants what's best. And you get to experience that when you begin to go, I'm going to embrace the countercultural ways of Jesus and Relational Intelligence. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and Ryan Ingram's teaching from his series Relational Intelligence. Chip's here with us and he's got some thoughts about the message you just heard. But before he gets to that, I hope you'll take a second to go online or tap share and encourage others to join us for this series, too. Navigating relationships has never been easy, which is why Chip asked Ryan to come and share these messages that bring such practical applications to the daily challenges.

Culture has a powerful voice that influences our attitudes and our thinking. So Ryan's fresh perspective on relationship building from a biblical point of view provides the tools you may need to make a few course corrections. For a limited time, resources for Relational Intelligence are discounted and the MP3s are always free. To order your copy or to send it to a friend, visit us online at

For additional information, just give us a call at 1-888-333-6003. Well, Chip, as we launch this new series, what made you decide to interrupt your own teaching and share these messages from Ryan? You know, Dave, one of the passions that we have at Living on the Edge is to rescue the next generation. And candidly, for all the right reasons, I'm quite a bit older than my son, Ryan. I've had a lot of experiences he's never had. I have a little bit even different training, and so I bring some things he doesn't have.

But the converse is true, and he has some experiences. When I sat and I listened to these messages in a room of young people, maybe the average age of the church he leads is 28 years old. It looks like the United Nations. They're from all over the world.

They're in the Bay Area. It's a high-tech area, and I'm watching a connection of a group of people that a lot of people are kind of down on, millennials, who long to awaken their generation or totally committed to Christ. And as I was listening to Ryan relate to them, I realized, you know something? I have a lot to learn.

And so what I really wanted to do was, in a fresh way, delve into some of the things that are literally killing us in the church, killing relationships. And it was such a fresh voice and God's truth that I wanted you to hear it. So that's why we're doing this, and I'm going to take the privilege of giving a little coaching and commentary at the end of each message so that Ryan and I get to team up on this. Well, whether you're a radio, podcast, or app listener, we've got you covered. I hope you'll set a reminder to be with us for this entire series. And let me encourage you, message notes are available for this series, too.

So if you'd like to jot down notes while you listen and get all the extra details, the message notes are a quick download at or just tap fill in notes on the app. Well, now here's Chip with a final thought. As we close today's program, I want to go back to the very premise that you heard at the very beginning. It's this idea that Ryan shared about relational desire, that we all desire an intimate, life-giving, character-shaping relationship that has a rugged commitment to one another, that loyalty, that connection. We want that in guy-to-guy relationships. We want that in gal-to-gal relationships. We desperately want it for those of us that are married or those that are single.

You long for that and see that develop and grow to the point with a boyfriend or a girlfriend that moves to being a fiancé and then that marriage partner. And here's the question. How's that going for you?

Do you have those kind of relationships? Where do you see progress and where are the challenges in your life? Here's what I want to tell you.

We're going to talk about the way that you've been taught, the way that you think, and the way that we perceive life. And if there's anything that we need help on, it's relationships. You know, when you want to cook, you can go to YouTube.

If you want to learn to play the guitar, you go to YouTube. You hire coaches. We get advice. There's experts. There's counselors. I don't think we've had a lot of great expert counsel from God on being intelligent in relationships.

And when you do stupid things in relationships, even if you do them sincerely, they produce devastating and terrible results. I want to encourage you to really stay with us on this series as my son Ryan and I help you get to be really smart in your relationships with all the positive results of joy and peace and connection with the people that matter most. Just before we close, I want to say thanks to those of you who are giving regularly to the Ministry of Living on the Edge. You're making a huge difference helping other Christians live like Christians. If you're enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge but aren't yet on the team, would you do that today? You can set up a recurring donation by calling us at 1-888-333-6003, tapping the donate button, or visiting us online at Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-16 13:53:28 / 2024-03-16 14:02:19 / 9

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