INTENT vs. IMPACT
A well-developed EQ is evident when one knows and understands that intent must ultimately be measured by its impact.
Growing up the statement was, “You can go to hell with good intentions.”
Not until I spent hundreds of hours counseling people did I come to fully understand the depth of wisdom in this slogan.
As a child, I focused on the possibility of going to hell if naughty.
As an adult, I focus on my impact, not my intent.
Recently I received an email. The intent was good; the impact was wounding.
At this stage of life, to win the cancer war is to avoid sugar; to eat green as much as possible.
Even more important than nutrition is feeding the mind thoughts of grace, mercy, kindness, love, and forgiveness.
“Will you forgive me?” are healing words for both giver and receiver of these gentle words.
It has taken me nearly my entire life to realize in relationships, being right is not important.
Yes, it is hurtful when the intent is pure gold and the recipient responds with unkind words or lack of appreciation.
Forgiveness is the jailers key to freedom.
A small percentage of our culture practices the simple, yet profound, “Will you forgive me?”
My email friend responded to my forgiveness email in this way: “I get things off my chest; then it is over just like a play in basketball.”
If we cling to intent the focus is on oneself. If the focus is on the impact the focus is on the other.
My counsel as a man, over 75 years old, is to focus on impact and not the intent.
The book of James is a manual of practical wisdom. James 1:19-26 is worthy of being memorized.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:19-26