Updated: May 16, 2022
If you follow me for any length of time, you’ll realize that I write about Core Energy Coaching™ and Christianity. I use both ideas to help small business owners in my coaching practice. While Core Energy Coaching and Christianity live in harmony for me, I get criticism from time to time from those on either side claiming I’m a heretic. Today’s post is an attempt to show my followers how these two ideas go together.
Core Energy Coaching™
Core Energy Coaching™ was developed by Bruce Schneider and is taught through a coaching school called the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching or iPEC. I’ll attempt to explain very briefly what Core Energy™ is and how it’s used as a tool for coaches. Core Energy is a cognitive thought process that starts with a thought, then a feeling, then an action. This triplet is called energy. There are two forms of energy: 1) Catabolic; and 2) Anabolic. iPEC has defined seven levels of energy to illustrate a gradual increase from 100% catabolic energy at Level 1 to 100% anabolic energy at Level 7. iPEC has further researched energy levels to strongly correlate a person’s sense of self contentment with higher levels of anabolic energy.
Anabolic energy tends to be harder to access and thus requires intention. Catabolic energy is easy to access and is often present in negative reactions to life circumstances. Core Energy Coaches™ evaluate a client’s attitude through a tool called the Energy Leadership Index™ assessment or ELI. This tool illustrates thought patterns that are important to us coaches to help our clients improve their perspective on life; which inevitably helps them succeed in life.
Each Core Energy Coach™ selects a niche in coaching and then applies Core Energy™ principles to their coaching practice.
This has been a condensed definition of a concept that requires much more education. But this is a blog post, after all. I have done deeper dives on this topic on a video and blog post entitled, “What is Core Energy?”.
Woo Woo Energy
Life coaches occupy a very diverse group of people. Some have used Core Energy™ concepts to validate other world views they hold to be true. Some have redefined the word “Energy” to be synonymous with the energy defined by adherents to New Age beliefs like reincarnation, astrology, psychics, spiritual energy, and the like. For those of us who don’t hold those views, we differentiate New Age energy from Core Energy™ as “Woo Woo Energy”.
iPEC teaches and I view Core Energy™ as a tool to coach my clients; having no metaphysical context at all.
The Bible & Core Energy™
Now that you know what Core Energy™ is, and what Core Energy™ is NOT, let’s see how Core Energy™ may be showing up in Biblical passages.
Level 1 – Victim (I Lose)
In the Bible, there are many people who experience depression. King David lost his son because of his affair with Bathsheba (Psalms 38:4). Elijah was running from King Ahab and Jezebel when he wanted God to kill him (I Kings 19:4). Jonah wanted to run away or die, instead of facing his mission in Nineveh (Jonah 4:3). When he lost everything, Job wanted to give up. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus felt helpless as he knew a long day of suffering and death lay ahead of him (Mark 14:34-36). Many of Jesus’s followers felt helpless when Jesus died on the cross.
Level 1 energy is present anytime we feel helpless. Something else is in control and we have no options. As readers of the Bible, you know how each of these Biblical passages ended. However, the people living through those passages, except for Jesus, could not see the end to their suffering. In most cases, they wanted to die instead of facing a difficult task that God had placed in front of them.
As believers, we have faith that God has a plan for our lives. And yet, we still experience this Level 1 Energy.
Level 2 – Conflict (I Win, You Lose)
As common as Level 1 is in the Bible, Level 2 is even more common. One of the first documented cases of Level 2, is the story of Cain and Able. Cain killed Able out of jealously. Instead of asking God how he could do better, he decided to get rid of his competition all together. Cain wins, Able loses.
When Joseph was thrown down the well, his brothers believed that they had won, and Joseph had lost.
Pharaoh’s anger caused him to run after the Israelites after he regretted his decision to let them go. He couldn’t allow the Israelites to win and him lose.
One of the most common examples of anger in the New Testament is when Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers in the Temple.
In Biblical teaching, God is always on the side of victory. Although, most of his follower’s experience loss first. In spiritual terms, there are two sides, good (God) & evil (Satan). It’s hard to define this battle as Level 2 conflict. Why? Because we all know who will win the battle. However, in the meantime, it is up to all of us to fight this spiritual battle on God’s side. For this to be a God-Sanctioned fight, the “I” needs to be God; and the “You” needs to be evil. If you can keep that straight you will be on the right side of this I Win, You Lose war.
As far as how Level 2 is used in coaching, The “I” is often our coaching client… and the “You” is often their spouse, their employee, their customer, their competitor, or someone else. This type of Level 2 energy is destructive, and it’s the type of anger that Jesus routinely condemned. A good example of Jesus condemning Level 2 energy is the time the Sons of Thunder (James and John) were fighting over which one would sit at the right hand of Jesus.
Level 3 Acceptance (I Win…)
Level 3 energy is more difficult to pick out in the Bible, but you can still see it. Think about any time that God wanted one of his people to do a difficult task, but they decided that life would be much easier if they didn’t. Moses tried the stuttering excuse to get out of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Abraham tried to talk God out of destroying Sodom & Gomorrah. In some ways, the Pharisees believed they were following God’s laws when they tried and crucified Jesus. They believed that they weren’t malicious but living out a Level 3 response. Level 3 is the desire to leave well enough alone.
You can see Level 3 energy playing out any time we oppose change and want our lives to stay as they are.
Level 4 Compassion (You Win)
We can clearly see Level 4 playing out in several Biblical passages. The most prolific event in the Bible is Jesus dying on the cross. Jesus is a person who is completely perfect in every way. He did nothing to warrant death. He was completely innocent. And yet, he died a horrific death because of his love for all of us. Jesus’s suffering was very real… and he was exemplifying a “you win” love for us.
Compassion energy is shown in many other areas of the Bible as well. When Moses was leading the bickering Israelites through the dessert, he had to bite his tongue when many of his followers begged to return to Egypt as slaves. In the end, Moses never set foot in the promise land while the rest of his followers did. That’s a You Win spirit.
Level 5 Opportunity (Win/Win)
Level 5 energy is present whenever, there’s a mutual win/win transaction. God had been making covenants with the Israelites for generations that were win/win. Abraham, have patience and trust in me and I will make your descendants greater than the stars in heaven. Noah, build an ark and face major embarrassment, and I will save your family in a catastrophic flood. Israelites endure years of hardship, and I will rescue you from Egyptian slavery and give you the promise land. The challenge with these covenants, is that God rarely got his “win”. Abraham wasn’t patient and yet God still lived up to his promise. Noah did build an ark, and was saved, but mass devastation of humans could hardly be considered a win for God.
In Jesus’s day, he blessed Peter with the fishing catch of his life and in return Jesus gained one of his most faithful followers. You can see how Jesus endorsed Win/Win energy in his telling of the Parable of the Talents. In this parable, two of the “faithful servants” doubled their master’s investment; and would reap the reward of living with the master in happiness. The third servant experienced more of a Level 2 outcome.
Level 6 Synergy (Everyone Wins)
At these last two levels, it’s impossible to continue to tell stories and it’s more important to understand God’s story. If you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, you’ll see a clear story unfolding that portrays a specific world view that is common to Christians. At Level 6, you can see how everything fits together. You see the synergy in what appears to be good and bad. The riches-to-rags-to-riches story of Job is made complete. The fall of mankind and eventual redemption by Jesus’s sacrifice make sense. The transition from the rigid law in the Old Testament into living by the Spirit in the New Testament falls into place.
At Level 6, you start seeing the poor in our modern day as an opportunity to show Jesus’s love, rather than some random curse from God. At the synergy level of energy, you stop looking at the world as something that needs saving and rather something that needs you to show up with the talents, treasure and time God has gifted you. You will let go of trying to force others into your way of thinking and simply serve them in the best way you can.
Level 7 (Winning & Losing Don’t Matter)
This is a very hard level for many Christians who believe that following Jesus is full of judging those who measure up and those who don’t. At Level 7, there is a full letting go of judgement and embracing your creative power that God has given you. Some Christians use the term, “letting go and letting God.” I personally have a love/hate relationship with this phrase. Here’s what I love about this phrase. You’re letting go of your judgement of others. After all, Jesus is the judge… not you.
What some Christians wrongly mean with this phrase is “being passive” … as if God were to physically move them where he wants them. At Level 7, you’re a co-creator with God. Creation takes work, thought and effort. You’ve been gifted by God, and He fully expects you to make positive creations with your gifts.
Jesus represents Level 7 perfectly. Yes, Jesus was sad (Level 1). Jesus was angry (Level 2). Jesus said, “turn the other cheek” (Level 3); Jesus loved people deeply (Level 4); Jesus understood the win/win deals that were being made at a spiritual level (Level 5); and Jesus understood his mission and his role in His Father’s big picture (Level 6). So, why do I say that Jesus is a perfect Level 7?
At Level 7, a person acts at each one of these levels without succumbing to the emotion at each level. I believe that Jesus’s constant prayer life kept Him at Level 7 for most of his ministry on earth.
You can see that Core Energy™ levels are a framework to describe attitudes, emotions, thoughts, and actions. Any character of the Bible will exhibit multiple energy levels in their lifetime. As will you. When Biblical characters trust in God, and have faith, they exist at their highest levels of core energy. The same goes for you.
Another way to think about Core Energy™ is living by the Spirit; vs living by the flesh. It just so happens that those who live by the Spirit and deny many desires of the flesh tend to reside at more anabolic energy levels. Likewise, when we react or indulge desires of our flesh instead of God’s will, we tend to reside at more catabolic levels. The fact is that God has made you to be great. When you reside at lower levels, you are less of what God has made you to be. You are living an inauthentic life. When you reside at higher energy levels, you are what God had always intended you to be.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, there are many actions you can take to exist at anabolic energy levels. Read your Bible… the Word of God. Attend church and connect with a Christian community in your local area. See yourself and others through God’s eyes. This is hard for us mere humans, and that’s why coaches, pastors, and other Christian leaders are here for you. Since it’s difficult to be at Level 7 like Jesus was, why not have another person who can see your world, your thoughts, and your actions objectively?
I hope that you have some insight into Core Energy Coaching™ and how it meshes with your Christian world view. Other Core Energy Coaches™ mesh Core Energy™ with their view. While Core Energy Coaching™ is not a Christian teaching, it perfectly complements Jesus’s teachings.
If you’d like to learn more about how I coach my business owner clients, visit my website at www.mmbizcoach.com.