Correcting with Grace

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When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭49-51‬ NKJV)

Every good leader wants team members who are competent, trustworthy, self-starters that don’t require a lot prodding to get things done. But sometimes those team members can go too far and the leader must take corrective action. How do you handle it? 

Jesus dealt with a similar situation involving his disciples. One of them, Peter, cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest when a group came to arrest Jesus. Instead of embarrassing or berating his disciples, Jesus corrected the action without harming them and healed the servant. From his example we can learn a few tips for correcting our teams. 

Know the Situation
Jesus was fully aware of the situation that led to his disciples’ actions. This knowledge was crucial to determining the appropriate response. Leaders should never make disciplinary decisions based on assumptions. Assuming in correction makes the leader look self-centered, incompetent, and uncaring in the eyes of the team. Gather as many facts as possible to help you make an objective decision. 

Correct the Action
When Jesus spoke after the man’s ear was cut off, he didn’t try to punish his disciple. Instead, he corrected their actions. When we set out to “fix” a problem we’re often tempted to project our frustrations toward a person. When we give in to this temptation we end up bruising the person which could slowly deteriorate the working relationship in the future. Instead, we should give grace with correction. We should use the correction as a teachable moment. We should speak the truth but do it in love so our team members won’t lose their confidence and we won’t lose their trust. 

Leverage Your Power
In this case a man’s ear was cut off and only Jesus had the power to heal him. For leaders, there will be times when our team members will create problems they are not qualified or equipped to handle. For these times, it’s important for us to step up and exercise our authority for the good of everyone involved. It may cost us initially but we gain in the long run. By stepping into the situation we can appease and retain disgruntled clients or members, mend broken relationships, and avoid future damages. 

No matter how bad the mistake or the problem, at the end of the day leaders must still value and honor their team members. We must do our best to separate the person from the actions by extending love and grace. 

Numbering Our Days

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“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

What’s the best way for you to spend your time in 2015? When Moses wrote Psalm 90 his appeal to God was “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” As we experience each day of the New Year, we need to pray for God’s help to  wisely prioritize the things that really matter. Here are three days we need to number this year. 

Days with God
There are only 52 Sundays in the year. Even if you attend all 52, 1 hour worship services, that will only add up to a little more than 6 work days or 2 complete days in worship out of 365. If you really want to see your faith increase, you’ll need to add more days with God by reading scripture, engaging in prayer, and having daily personal devotions.

Days with Family
Even though I work from home, I’m still working and not engaging my family. My daughter is gone to school eight hours a day, my son is at work, and my wife is working as well. Then weekends are usually taken up with ministry related activities. So I must be deliberate about planning family time, and so should you. Don’t let the year go by without making your family a priority. Actually, don’t let a week go by without spending some quality time with your family.

Days for Self
Work, school, church, and extra activities can crowd us in easily. We may look up from our desks in June and realize we haven’t had a break. By then it’s too late. Make time to refresh yourself this year. You’re not good to your family, church, or job if you’re burned out. Be deliberate about taking time for yourself and protecting that time with a kind but firm “no” when others try to add to your schedule.

Pray and ask God to give you wisdom on how to manage your time in 2015. With his guidance, this will be your best year.