“Looking diligently lest any man fails of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” Hebrews 12:15
Bitterness is spoken about as a clear warning to any leader. If one is wise they will look at its warning. Why? Because it’s a root that makes a person fall in leadership and will eventually cause you to fail in leadership. Also, if bitterness is allowed to fester, a leader will eventually have negative aspects in their character. This scripture says that this evil root will eventually spring up and trouble a person. Troubled people can not lead healthy people.
Let’s liken a leader’s fresh and new vision to a nice, fresh-cut lawn. It looks so nice and crisp and even and pure; however, throw a few weeds in there, and they will take over everything and ruin the look and feel-just like bitterness will to the leader’s vision. The seeds of bitterness will spread quickly and forcefully, eventually destroying anything it touches.
Great leaders are forgiving leaders. A leader must forgive with passion, with a purpose, with priority, and with a plan in order to live out his leadership abilities. In the world of leadership, you will face backstabbing, hateful slander, and much conflict. Why? Because you are making a difference.
“FORGIVENESS IS THE HEART OF THE MATTER WHILE BITTERNESS IS THE MATTER OF THE HEART” ~ Gary Moritz
THE BIG FOUR OF FORGIVENESS:
I. ADMIT YOUR BITTERNESS AND DECIDE TO FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY.
Why is it hard for us to forgive? Pride!!! Many leaders will fall because of pride; but you won’t if you follow this step. The Bible says, “Only by pride comes contention:…” (Proverbs 13:10a). Our pride makes it so hard for us to forgive, doesn’t it? Forgiveness requires us to be humble in our leadership with a smile. You are the leader and the thermostat of the entire organization. Do not buy into the lie that you need to look strong and superior. A great smile and a touch of encouragement on the shoulder can go a long way to building great people. You are not building an organization, you are building people.
II. REMEMBER THAT GOD FORGAVE YOU.
The Bible says, “Forbearing one another and forgiving one another if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”(Colossians 3:13). Imagine yourself in a court case: if the judge forgives you of the crime you committed, wouldn’t it be just as fair for you to forgive another of a different crime against you, knowing your head was just on the chopping block? Just a thought! Your job is not to take your people out like a sniper, but build people up like a platoon.
III. REMEMBER: NO ONE IS GETTING AWAY WITH ANYTHING.
This is a phrase that I repeat to myself when I see scams, deals, and backstabbing in leadership. It is a true fact of life. Leaders can cut corners, but in the end, the corner will cut them. God tells us to “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”(Psalm 37:7-9). Remember to rest in God and be a Leader for him, and not for the promotion or for a pay raise. You see, God knows everything that is going on in the world with incredible detail. Let God lead you and be a forgiver. Don’t forget that bitterness will destroy you in leadership while forgiveness will develop you in leadership. Most leaders love development and advancement, so hang on because God is advancing and developing you.
IV. FOCUS ON GOD’S CUSTOM PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.
If you are not careful, you will drift backward in leading others. When we are not moving forward we are moving backward, and people are going with us. Roller coasters are great as the excitement builds but get stuck on one or move backwards, and it is just scary.
As a leader, forgiveness must reign strong within. Never look backwards. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul when he said, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 3:13-14)
Look through the windshield and not the rear-view mirror. Drive steady and with a soft and caring hand with humility. When we fully comprehend God’s forgiveness toward us, we simply cannot justify holding anyone else accountable. Get better and not bitter!