Monday, January 30, 2012

Giving and Receiving Forgiveness

Hurt and pain is just a part of life. Before there is any progress there will always first be pain. Before strength comes tearing and breaking. I get this when it comes to working out, but it is much more difficult when it comes to leadership and relationships.

Recently as I was reflecting on my previous 12 months of ministry I realized I had stored up some hurt. Many of the hurts were minor infractions that come in the flow of life and ministry. Instead of dealing with the hurts I tried to bottle them up and be a tough guy. Then one point a few weeks ago I realized I had unknowingly built up unforgiveness in my heart towards several people I love dearly. I immediately confessed my sin to God and went to that person and let them know they were forgiven from my heart. I know this sounds really trivial, but I did have a big learning through all of this.

Hurt is a part of every meaningful relationship and every fast paced organization. The people you love the most have the greatest capacity to wound you. The people that respect you the most are those you have the greatest capacity to wound. I have a major responsibility before God as a leader is to keep my heart pure and my relationships clear. This means I must make it a discipline to walk through the tunnel of difficult conversations often and extend forgiveness where I've been hurt while seeking forgiveness where I've hurt another person.

I believe with all my heart that when I'm seeking to stay right with the people who I interact with the most, my leadership credibility goes up to a whole new level. This doesn't mean I'm unwilling to have difficult conversations, call people out who need to be disciplined, and offend people in order to pursue the vision God has set in front of us. It just means that as a follower of Christ I am called to keep my relationships with others clear even if these means slowing down at times to keep it real.

If there is bitterness in your life or in your organization it will become a toxic root and pollute your team. We must fight to keep our relationships clear.

PS, Some people want to pick a fight no matter what you do. The bible says this person is foolish and cannot be reasoned with. Act like a matador the first time by taking the high road and then stay as far away as possible from the crazy bull. If this person is your spouse, get counseling!