I have been doing a series called, "Cow Tipping." (thanks elevation church).
One message was about the Grace of God. Grace is God's free gift of salvation to us. The only thing we contributed for our salvation was our sin. He freely forgave us. We cannot worked to be saved or work to stay saved. He has fully accepted us in Christ. Once we have surrendered to Christ, God views us "in Christ." We are free. We are beloved. (I know there are many different theological view points. This is not my main focus in this blog.)
Most people can grasp this and say, "I can do that. I can dig that. That's awesome." Here is the twist I want to bring. Grace is not something just between us and God, but it should be between us and others.
2nd Peter 3:18, "But grow in the GRACE and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ..."
There may be 1,000 interpretations on how to grow in the grace of God, but I want to share my interpretations for leaders.
Growing in grace is two-fold. The first is understanding God's grace. (read Romans for a full understanding). The second is dispensing that grace to others. This is where I want to focus today.
As leaders, we must be "grace-filled" toward people. People are people. They are going to do stupid stuff. Rather- WE are going to do stupid stuff. We are going to fail. We are going to miss the mark of the standard that others set for us. We are going to disappoint each other.
I see people all the time who have very little grace and kindness toward others who do not do what they think they should do.
If we are going to see the people we lead come to full fruition then we must extend grace to them and show kindness. We must grow in the grace of God.
I can ultimately tell you how much have grown in grace by the way you extend it to others.
Here are a few thoughts on this.
1) "I don't think they should or shouldn't do that or make that decision..." Those statements are grace busters. One question, "Who made you the ultimate standard setter for the universe?" It gets worse if you share your concerns with them and they don't do what you think they should. The question is, "Can you extend grace and truly love them even when they make decisions that you don't agree with?"
2) Do you punish people by with holding love? Donald Miller spoke of this in his book, "Blue Like Jazz." It was a "revelation moment" for me. That is what I would do. If someone did something to me that hurt me or did not follow my prescribed standards for their life, I would withold love. Do you give them the cold shoulder?
3) Do you tell everyone else how they failed and did not follow your advice? Gossipy leaders are awesome. They build their case to everyone around them about how those people did not do what they thought they should do. They trash those people also to make themselves look better. If you point out everyone else's problems, you look like the leadership guru. Learn to protect and cover people.
4) Give grace because you will need it. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7, that the same judgment you give others you will be judged by. Becareful when you cast judgment on others. This is when you make your standard the standard for their lives. We make people live to standards that God does not even make them live to.
You will fail. You will make stupid decisions. You will have a lapse in leadership. You will need others to be graceful to you, so show grace to others. The amount of grace you show others, you will receive.