We all love to be revered and remembered by our friends and relatives. So we crack jokes, share knowledge, and boast about our abilities and performances to impress them and gain their praise. And it might be wise to share our past performances during a job interview. But friendships grow cold when we try to impress our friends. What keeps it warm is our love and care for others.
“We know that ‘We all possess knowledge.’ But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” 1 Corinthians 8:1 NIV
Learning the secret of serving and winning everyone for Christ requires humility and pure motives. But how do we examine our motives when we are, for example, chatting with our friends? If we pay attention, do we rush to share something about ourselves to impress listeners, or do we use words of affirmation for what we heard from others?! In other words, do we promote ourselves with how much we know, or do we listen carefully and credit those sharing something good? People don't care much about our knowledge, but what remains in their minds is our kind and loving actions. An old phrase says, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
Apostle Paul hated Christians before he was transformed. But when his life was changed, he learned true love. He cared so much for people that he put aside his preferences to gain lost souls:
"I have become all things to all, that I might, by all means, save some." 1 Corinthians 9:22
"Becoming everything to everyone" doesn't mean changing our beliefs to please people. Instead, we find common ground to connect and understand people. We can find common ground even with those who are hard to communicate with and befriend them. For example, Paul got the attention of the people of Athens by referring to an altar labeled "To the unseen God"! He used it as a common ground to share his experience with the true God. We can find common ground with almost anyone; friends, enemies, our children, spouse, coworkers, supervisors, and those under our supervision.
God often speaks to us in so many different easy. That is why good leaders consider feedback from their friends and other leaders, and if it makes sense, they make adjustments in their lives. For example, we may ask our spouses or someone close to us how we behaved at a party last night! Then without any bias, think about their feedback and make a decision. Likewaise, all leaders, without exception, need brutal input from other leaders and those they work and live with to grow mature. We can’t always expect positive and pleasant reviews, but we should always appreciate them. When we do what is good with a humble spirit, we become servant leaders and succeed.
While it’s good to think about caring and helping others, but it requires sacrifice! Love takes part of our time, energy, money, or comfort. John 3:16 demonstrates God's love through a great sacrifice.
We may unintentionally make sacrifices for our own benefit, but the truth will come out with some honest thinking! Laying down our preferences takes work. We are free to decide what to eat and how to dress. For example, wearing ironed or wrinkled shirts at home or church may not matter. But it does matter how we dress and talk when we take responsibility to lead a group. Because we can uplift their spirits by wearing moderately and modestly. Paying attention to these seemingly minor things means "Becoming everything to everyone."
Among many who claim to be great leaders, only some are genuine leaders. For example, a successful commander of an army may or may not be a great leader. Likewise, someone who knows the Bible in and out may or may not be a great leader. True Christian leaders serve with sacrificial love and set themselves an example for others to follow willingly.
Please click on “Leadership Qualities” to continue.