Do you accept or reject people on the basis of their agreeing or disagreeing with you?
Are we willing in leadership to follow the model of the Lord, Himself? He loves us with such unconditional love; He does not reject us when we sin or turn against Him in something we say or do.
I sometimes hear people say, ‘I don’t trust him/her.’ What does that mean? Would the Lord say that about us? Should we not go the extra mile in trusting and believing in people, even when there are things we may not like or agree with? Perhaps that person has hurt or disappointed us. Should we break fellowship or start talking against him/her behind their back? Do we really have the love, grace and courage to believe the best and when we find that impossible then go to the person (esteeming them better than ourselves as it says in Phil. 2:3) sharing our questions and concern? If we still feel it has not worked out so that unity is restored, then we should go along with someone else and open our hearts again.
I believe so many of the truly great leaders of history have trusted and believed in people and stuck with them even through sin and failure. I’m sure they wrestled with doubts and questions in the midst of trusting the person: there is no simple and easy road for long-term relationships. This is especially true when you are actually trying to accomplish something together rather than just be friends.
Some of us who are strong in temperament, like myself, don’t realize how easily we can hurt someone or make them feel rejected. We don’t easily correct someone without creating some misunderstanding. It often is not what we say, but how we say it! I have learned this the hard way and sometimes have had to go back to the hurt or offended person in brokeness and tears to apologize. Have you had this experience?
If people have hurt us more than once, there is the danger that we will harden our heart against the person and go on an emotional strike, or even a practical strike by avoiding the person or not speaking to them, etc.
It will be very discouraging to the new younger generation if they see us as leaders playing ‘politics’. In other words, they see us giving in to people or helping people on the basis of what we can get out of it. One minute we are aligned and united with someone and then, because of this or that, we are no longer really united. We may form little ‘power blocks’ to get our own way on something. There will be more seeking the favor of people rather than seeking the honor and glory of God.
Soon we will be found accusing men and women of honesty and integrity as being unrealistic and not ‘down to earth’ enough. We will begin defending our untruths and thinking that our little ‘white lies’ are not that important. Soon we find ourselves saying what we think will get the right results or get us off the hook rather than that which is totally truthful.
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