Today’s reading;  2 Samuel 21-23, Psalm 18, Romans 3

I spent last week in Miami at a Commercial Negotiations training course.  The session was 40 hours of material over 3.5 days.  It was intense, and I was exhausted by the time I got home midday Friday.  Application of the key principles, however, will be game changing for my organization.  Without revealing any of my new found strategies, a couple important concepts I learned were:

  • Right and wrong – there is not absolute right or wrong in a negotiation, only what is appropriate for the set of facts presented in particular circumstance.
  • Power – who holds the power in a negotiation is dictated by time and circumstance, not who has the most money.
  • Approach/Tactics – the best approach/tactics for the situation are determined by the longevity of the relationship, dependency of the parties, trust between the parties, and complexity of the deal.  If you use a relational approach in tactical negotiation, you will be exploited.  On the other hand, if you treat a highly dependent/mutual problem solving negotiation as tactical, you are likely to hurt the relationship.

Coming out of that intensive training, I naturally tuned in to Paul’s approach as I studied our text for today in Romans 3.  Paul had been a Pharisee (religious leader).  After his conversion to Christianity, he had been commissioned by God to take the gospel message to the Gentiles.  In addition to his missionary journeys to Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia, Cyprus , Judea and Syria, he authored at least 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament.  We know from reading the New Testament that he was very articulate and extremely influential.  But I can’t tell if he was a good negotiator or not, because in our relationship with God…

    • There is absolute truth; right and wrong are clearly defined by God.
    • God holds all the power.
    • The best approach/tactics to use in dealing with others are the same in every situation.  They are what the Bible calls the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Fortunately our salvation does not depend on our ability to develop or execute the right strategy.  There is no need for us to negotiate with God.  He understands us and, in spite of our wrongdoings, sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin.  Our part is choosing to place our faith in him.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith (Romans 3:23-25a).