“Correct, rebuke and encourage.” 2Ti 4:2 NIV
When you crave acceptance and approval, you end up being controlled by those you’re supposed to lead. Paul recognized this. That’s why he instructed Titus: “Teach…and encourage your people…correcting them when necessary as one who has every right to do so. Don’t let anyone think that what you say is not important” (Tit 2:15 TLB). Afraid of causing upheaval in the ranks, insecure leaders agonize over decisions and assume responsibility for other people’s emotional reactions. They don’t realize that when you’re doing what you should be doing and others don’t agree, that’s their problem, unless you make it yours. A mature leader deals with disappointment and keeps a good attitude; they’re willing to face the music even when they don’t like the tune. Think: When you warn your children about putting their hand on a hot stove, it’s not your responsibility to make them enjoy hearing it, right? Hopefully, as they mature they’ll understand. But the truth is, some people won’t like hearing the word “no” regardless of how old they get! But we all need to hear it from time to time; otherwise, we’ll never be happy with anything other than getting our own way—and that means getting nowhere, or getting into trouble. Paul, who was training Timothy for leadership, told him, “Correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” Correct people when they’re wrong, rebuke them when they’re stubborn, encourage them when they struggle, be patient as they learn and grow, and make sure your instructions are clear and understandable. That’s what good leaders do—and the only way you learn it is by doing it.
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