Monday, June 2, 2014

The People Factor, by Van Moody - Book Review

The People Factor is subtitled, "How building great relationships and enduring bad ones unlocks your God-given purpose" - a hefty premise, and one that Van Moody takes on with ease. This is *not* your typical self-help-with-a-Christian-twist book, but rather an engaging journey. Moody uses personal examples and Biblical examples of good and bad relationships - models that we all share in one way or another. He then examines *why* each example is good or bad - all the underpinnings - so that we learn to recognize when we ourselves fall into these same patterns.  

"When people show you who they are, pay attention." 

- Van Moody

Moody's guidestone is the Bible - and his advice is not that of a secular pop-psychologist or pundit, but that of a caring pastor who understands that we are all imperfect, we all make mistakes, and we all can ask forgiveness, learn and move on. His advice is based on principles he derives from the Bible and his years of counseling - this is advice he himself has taken. His counsel starts with learning to *honestly* know oneself.  We all have a tendency to want to blame others when relationships go wrong, but are we being honest? Moody invites us to explore ourselves, to explore our personal ways of relating - to ourselves, to God, and to others - and determine which are healthy and which are not. 

He invites us to release the past, to be selective, and to end relationships that are truly toxic and unrepairable. 

His advice is not only for "the lovelorn" - but rather he encompasses all the relationships in our lives: work, family, friends, acquaintances, partners, and more.

What I found most interesting - and useful - was Moody's concept of "covenant partners" - again, a concept based in Biblical truths. According to Moody, a covenant partner has six specific characteristics: the person can accept change, does not run away during difficulty, trusts God, trusts you, trusts himself or herself, will help you and not harm you. This is a powerful relationship - and one to be valued. It is also one we often mistakenly believe we have found when we have not - ie, we often assume relationships that are *not* covenant to be covenant - which leads to pain and dysfunction.

I learned a lot from the self-examination that the book demands...I am currently in a sort of "career and life changes" limbo, figuring out anew who and what my priorities must be. I found Moody to be an apt and sensitive guide - and again, his foundation in Biblical truth is important for me, because I find the "self-help" genre as a whole tends to encourage a great deal of selfishness and self-absorption.  Moody's book forces one to look within so that one can then honestly look out.

Van Moody is a pastor of the Worship Center in Birmingham, Al. He also serves on the board of Joel Osteen's Champions Network, and is an associate trainer for Dr. John Maxwell's EQUIP leadership organization.

The People Factor is published by Nelson Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. It can be purchased for $16.99 directly from Nelson Books, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other fine booksellers.

Religion, Christian Life, Relationships; Teen/Adult

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trace Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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