Leading With Grace

How many times over the years have I told My kids, “Stop it, just stop it” only to cause in them anxiety and frustration because they themselves wished they could ‘Stop It?’

People are awesome and so worth investing in, and I believe most of the time people really do want to do the right thing. Deep down inside they have a desire to react to that person or situation the right way. If this weren’t the case, there wouldn’t be so many people feeling bad about themselves and promising to try harder.

What I have learned is that one key to effective leadership is how we, the leader, view the people we are leading. Do we view them with a negative attitude, thinking, They’ll try to get away with anything they can if I don’t control them?

I used to think this way in my parenting, but it backfired on me time and again.

Thankfully, I now see my girls’ as they truly are in Christ, regardless of whether or not they’re behaving like Christ at the moment!

There are two types of leadership: fear-based and grace-based. A good leader, who is leading from the vantage point of believing the best, will take the time to help their team members develop into the people they know they can be.

For example: one day, one of my daughters was having a particularly difficult time understanding her math assignment and she showed her frustration by treating her sister disrespectfully. I knew I could say, “Starr, stop it, just stop it.” In fact, I had done just that many times through the years and only after experiencing a revelation of grace in my own life did I come to realize, this method of parenting is not working.

I still remember the day it dawned on me that; as her Mom and her leader, I needed to help her understand that she was reacting out of some kind of fear. That day I didn’t just blurt out, stop it, just stop it. Instead I calmly said, “Starr, let’s talk about this. What do you think is frustrating you? What are you afraid of?”

I clearly recall her response. She was afraid that she was inadequate because she couldn’t grasp her math assignment. So we took the time to talk about how Jesus is perfectly adequate in every situation; therefore, we can put our trust in Him to help us understand. Of course she calmed right down once she began to focus on Jesus’ adequacy rather than her own inadequacy.

I really learned a great lesson that day that I have continued to apply in my parenting and will most definitely apply in leadership roles I have outside the home.

By God’s grace:

– I believed the best of Starr that day

– I looked beyond how Starr was behaving and cared about her as a person

– I took the time to find out what was behind her reaction

– I helped ease her frustrations by setting her eyes on Jesus as her way to claim victory over her poor attitude

As I began to lead my kids by grace, I saw monumental changes in them. Previously, they both had a difficult time admitting when they were wrong, but as I adopted a grace way of parenting and we began constantly talking about God’s goodness instead of focusing on their badness, it helped them in this area.

Once they knew they were righteous in Christ apart from their behavior, this truth made all the difference in them coming to a place of peace and they were no longer afraid to admit when they were wrong about something.  Isn’t that interesting? In Romans 2:4 the Apostle Paul reminds us that it is God’s goodness that leads us to repentance!

As leaders, when we see someone we are leading heading down the wrong path, let’s take the time needed to call out the new nature in those individuals, as opposed to controlling them through fear. Let’s remember that it’s very frustrating for people when we tell them what they need to do, but fail to show them how to do it.

Fear-based leadership doesn’t work because it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Leading with grace works because it develops healthy individuals that make up healthy teams of people who work together to make quite an impact on the world around them!

Leading with grace is the most effective way to lead!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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