[fusion_dropcap boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”4px” class=”” id=”” color=””]I[/fusion_dropcap]n my first blog, I explained how the term “Black & White Thinkers” came to be, yet this term falls short of everything that is needed to understand this type of individual. So, from here on out, we’ll use the term Standard Operators to describe individuals who interpret and interact with the world according to certain law, standards, or truths (concrete) as set by God, society, or self. The observable actions (or inactions) are interpreted, or judged as being right or wrong, good or bad, black or white, all or nothing. We’ll call them Moral or Standard Operators because they primarily reflect the high standard or “moral” qualities of God in how they operate (interpret situations, prioritize, etc.).
As stated in the first blog, Standard or Moral Operators are created in the Image of God and reflect God’s Moral Attributes: the Holiness of God, what is important to God, how He desires us to act, and the importance for us to place Him first in our hearts. And through God’s Laws, we see God’s holiness, His standards, consequences for sins, His definition of right and wrong and good and bad, truth, justice, and the importance of obedience. These laws include Civil Laws (deals with disputes), Ceremonial Laws (process & procedures), and Moral Laws (right & wrong). If the laws were obeyed, things will go well, but when they were disobeyed, there would be a consequence and a need to make amends. God’s moral character focuses on the actions and giving rewards or consequences based on what was deserved. Feelings are unimportant, yet actions of obedience are paramount. God’s Moral Character defines what is good and bad and right and wrong. Although there were many laws to follow, the law demonstrated a simple standard to follow. It simplifies life into a Nike slogan, “Just do it.” The Old Testament, however, is not silent about a God who is Relational and who showed mercy, patience, kindness, and grace; but this is not emphasized as much in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament.
While Standard or Moral Operators reflect God’s standards or moral attributes, these attributes are tainted by our sin nature. In light of these things, Standard or Moral Operators are:
- Moral Interpreters – Interpret through moral lens. See as Right vs. Wrong (as defined by the law, God or self), good or bad, black or white. Some would rather be right than get along
- Perfectionistic – Signs of being perfectionist (high standard); they may be critical towards others (who feel judged) when standards not met
- High Performance – Driven to succeed. Good & valuable workers; often excel at work to meet high standards
- Actions (Fruit) Oriented – Focus on behavior and actions (doing the right thing); in parenting, may focus on discipline over relationship; Look at the fruit and may ignore the heart
- Prefer the Tangible – Rewards and consequences for behaviors; Re: Love languages – Gifts, and Acts of Service likely to rank highest; physical rewards (money, prize) over the intangible rewards (feel good inside)
- Concrete Thinking – Facts & figures, literal meanings, lists and things that can be observed, measured, quantified and qualified are understood better. Abstract concepts like love, feelings, philosophy, etc. are more difficult to grasp
- Processes & Procedures – There’s a right way to do things. If it’s not done the right way, it’s wrong and shouldn’t be done at all or redone
- Importance of Fairness – Things should be fair and equal (how I see fairness)
- Emotional Intelligence (EI)- Will depend on how far on the scale. The further from Relational, the less EI. Female Moral Operators typically have higher EI than their male counterparts.
If you haven’t taken the Image Inventory, go back and take the Inventory now. If you are a Standard or Moral Operator, you can look at how far you landed on the scale. The further you are from Relational, the more difficult relationships will be, but the closer you are to the Relational side, the more likely relationships will be positive and intimate. But these are not set in stone and if you were to take this Inventory throughout life, you’d probably be in different places at different times. While there are strengths and weaknesses in being a Moral Operator, the questions and challenge for yourself, “How will God use me as a Moral Operator? What does He want me to work on to become more like Christ (FYI – It’s to grow in grace!)? How can I grow in understanding of myself, my spouse, and my children and improve these relationships?” These are questions and challenges I hope to help you with in upcoming blogs and the book: “Image” (coming Winter, 2019).