By Don Waller, LPC, NCC
In his book The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey defined leadership as, “communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it themselves.” I have witnessed this uncommon phenomenon in my life.
Over the years, people who have impacted my life for good are those who could clearly see my potential and help me to see it too. Whether it was my fourth-grade teacher who believed in me or my youth minister who didn’t give up on me, God positioned positive leaders at strategic times and places in my life. I have also had my share of those that felt the need to control or criticize me, which negatively impacted me—and caused me to withdraw and lose hope.
Living in a fallen world, we all experience the pain of relationships, but we have a choice in how we respond to them. We can choose to believe those who inflict harm or we can listen to the voice of truth and life. As Jesus speaks in John 10:10, “The thief only comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
After being anointed as the next king of Israel by the prophet Samuel, David proved he had the gift of leadership. Before he took the throne, he spent many years running for his life from King Saul and he happened upon a group of men who were desperate and in need of a leader. “Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented, gathered to him; and he became their captain (leader) over them. Now there were about 400 men with him” (1 Samuel 22:2). David instilled worth and potential into these hopeless men and turned them into a formable fighting force that became the notorious group, “David’s Mighty Men,” introduced in 1 Chronicles 11:11-14.
As a counselor, my prayer has been to instill into my clients their God-given worth and potential by loving and accepting them unconditionally as God does—helping clients to see themselves as God sees them. I believe that it starts when you realize who you are in Christ. I have been made complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10) and therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
As Christians, we have an incredible gift to share with others who are lost and hurting and need to know there is hope in Christ.
As a society, we are experiencing a leadership crisis in government, business, and the home. Leading people God’s way by putting others first and helping them reach their God-given potential, does not come naturally, but it’s the way God has ordained it: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
Who will you impact today with your leadership? Will they experience the grace and love of Jesus Christ? God has given us this great opportunity for positive impact. Who are you impacting for good?
Don Waller is part of the counseling team at Summit Counseling of Jackson. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.949.1949.