Recall the last time that you gave!
- I gave the driver on the road a piece of my mind!
- I gave a mean look to the lady with all of her kids going crazy at the grocery store and made sure she felt even more alone.
- I gave my husband a guilt trip when he said he had to work late, even though I know he works so hard for the family.
- I gave my employee a hard time about not meeting the deadline, even though they are swamped and made every other deadline.
- I gave myself a big pat on the back for not being like everyone else and having my stuff together!
Every single day we are faced with opportunities to give, opportunities to be selfless, and opportunities to show others they care and matter. Our first knee-jerk reaction is to make sure that we are the first in line, that no one cuts me off, that people get the judgment they deserve, and that leading in fear and guilt is the way to improve our respect.
When people are given grace and truth they are happier and more productive. These two have to be paired with one another because if you have a leader that is all grace, then no one can do wrong and everyone deserves a second, third, forth, fifth chance. And a leader that is only truth can be taken as someone who gives harsh critique and gives their people anxiety every time they encounter that leader. So to be a dynamic and great leader you need to bestow grace and truth!
Grace: undeserved favor; an attractively polite manner of behaving; courteous goodwill.(Webster dictionary)
Truth: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; a fact. (Webster dictionary)
- I recently heard a story about this young girl who had been in an accident and had major burns on her face. She was beginning to heal, but the burns were still noticeable and wouldn’t go away. This young girl and her mother decided to get out of the house and go to the mall. You can imagine that her mother was very protective of her daughter, but knew that this was their new reality so she had to face other people. They went from shop to shop and people would stop and stare but eventually move on. They found themselves at the food court and had some ice cream. While they were sitting there people would walk by, glance over and keep going. This one older man sat down, close to them, looked up and saw the young girl. He stared (like most people), but didn’t look away. He kept staring and staring to the point where it was making another bystander uncomfortable and almost told him to stop. The older man interrupted them and said to the young girl, “I am so sorry for staring, but you have the most beautiful eyes.” After that the three of them started talking and ended up laughing and having a great time. I believe that this man portrayed grace and truth!
We see peoples marks so much faster than we see their beauty.
My challenge for you, as a leader and as a person, is to live your life with grace and truth. I know that people who error on the side of grace might be thinking, “I rock at this,” when you may need to show more truth and honesty. And those who error on the side of truth may think, “I’m not harsh with my words, people are just too sensitive,” and that might be the case sometimes, but reflect on your tone and purpose when you become critical. “The way truth is said is just as important as truth itself!” -Al Lopus
Some people may need to hear that they mess up, and some may need to hear that they rock. Just remember that with both statements, come at it honestly and graciously!
When there is both grace and truth, then you have the recipe for a safe, inviting, efficient, and a caring workplace! Recognize those situations where you may be heavier on the grace or heavier on the truth, and shift your words and actions.
Christ is the ultimate example of a servant leader. Follow in His footsteps.
John 1:14″And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.“