Grow Up And Lead Yourself

Grow Up And Lead Yourself

DAY 2 OF 7

Hurt? Protect Yourself.

By Brandi Wilson

“Why is she always so friendly?” I stood listening to a volunteer recount a conversation she had with another church member who questioned my apparently over-the-top level of friendly engagement. “Brandi doesn’t really know me, and she always stops to say hi. It’s annoying.”

Wait! I was being criticized for being too friendly. At church. Too friendly at church. Wasn’t that an oxymoron?

Critics. All leaders have them. You do. I do. Everyone does, to one degree or another. It seems to be part of the leadership package. As my friend Jud Wilhite has been to known to say, “Everyone loves you until you lead.”

As with the “she’s too friendly” comment, criticism is often just related to people’s perception. In order to deal with criticism, we need to reframe the critics in our minds because their critical words come from just a few different places.

First, hurting people hurt people. If you’ve been in ministry very long, you’ve heard this a million times. As Richard Rohr says, “If you do not transform your pain, you will transmit it to those around you.” Sometimes, as leaders, we are on the receiving end of someone’s untransformed pain.

Secondly, conviction is not comfortable. I can’t think of one time when the Holy Spirit has been convicting me when I have been comfortable. Nope, not one time. In fact, the discomfort He allows is part of what spurs us into action. For some people, instead of responding to conviction with action, they respond by lashing out at others. A “shoot the messenger” type response.

Lastly, the personal opinions and expectations of hurting people easily spill over into criticism. “It’s nothing personal, but…” Those four little words often carry a huge impact. Most often, they are followed by some verbal attack. And, let’s be honest, those words are never fun and are usually personal for both the speaker and the leader. These are usually issues of personal preference. In an effort to verbalize a personal preference, people often convey things in a hurtful, critical way, not even realizing how much those comments can hurt our hearts.

Understanding some of the roots of criticism doesn’t necessarily make harsh words and critical comments less hurtful, but it can impact how we lead ourselves well when responding to the criticism. That understanding helps us respond to others appropriately, which is vital because if hurting people hurt people, then hurting leaders hurt lots of people. 


About this Plan

Grow Up And Lead Yourself

Embark on a journey to learn to lead yourself. Often, we aren’t leading ourselves well. Feeling hurt? Protect yourself. Drowning in discouragement? Encourage yourself. Overworked? Manage yourself. Starving spiritually? F...

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