As there are certain laws of physics, like gravity, there are fundamental principles of relationships. This is the premise of The People Factor by Pastor Van Moody. Moody reveals the elements of relationship dynamics in a clear, simple manner. Using common experiences and biblical stories, Moody extracts the wisdom of “doing relationships right,” making the book an easy read. Then he empowers you to access these principles in all areas of relationships: marriages, work, friendships, etc. by ending each chapter with key reminder statements and relationship IQ questions.
We watch babies drop a toy over and over again, as if they are playing a game (often frustrating for the adult who keeps bending over to pick it back up again.) The infant is learning two fundamental principles: A physical law of gravity and a relationship law of reciprocity. The law of gravity is seen by how all things fall to the ground when not held. The law of reciprocity exposes that my action results in another’s reaction. Most of us have been taught to know the laws of physics in our STEM (Science, Technology, English and Math) education. We have also been taught to ignore many laws of relationships. The People Factor gently opens our awareness to the truths we learned as babies and helps us catch up in our relationship education.
Using the Bible as his textbook, and living as his lab, Moody appears to have gained a post doctorate-like education in relationships. Within the first half of the book, the reader’s eyes are opened to valuable observations. “Look for tomorrow people, because they will be the ones to usher you into your destiny.” (p.38) Understanding where people belong in your life either keeps you stuck or moves you forward. Then again, as important as relationships to people are to us, a deeper relationship overrides all others. “It really does not matter who is involved on a human level, because you are acting on a spiritual level.” (p.109) By mid book, Moody has eased the reader into seeing deeper dynamics, like going from addition to algebra.
By the middle of The People Factor, the reader will have tools to solve equations within his or her own soul. The chapter titled, “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You” could be pivotal in your life. The stories of Moody’s encounters and his insights into historical lives act like a tuning fork vibrating genuineness by which you can align yourself with into a more fulfilling life. Built upon the foundation of understanding in the first half of the book, this chapter can be the “Ah ha” that allows for a deep, peaceful, long-awaited exhale.
In the latter part of the book, Moody has powerful insights and guidance for leaders – business and political, as well as help for everyone to move through transitions. The concept of loyalty is flushed out illuminating both how we maintain and alter partnerships. “[Relationships] may also reach a point where they need to be redefined in positive ways or constructively transitioned.” (p. 169) You may feel soothed, like a mother’s hand stroking your chin, as you read the elucidation of “constructive transition.” Moody’s explanation of how relationships shift from one role to another can clarify the apparent losses in your life.
The final chapters of the book bring you into the understanding of life’s constant changes with relationships. Like gradually progressing into calculus and quantum physics, this ultimate section graduates the reader into comprehension of fundamental living in the world of relationships. Moody delivers lucid knowledge in this “life-lab” manual with encouragement and support to master your own principles of relationships.