Leading Gently

Kathryn Tack, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | November 15, 2023

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”  
James 3:17-18

I need wisdom in difficult situations when my thin skin feels an offense that gets in the way of my relationships.  An offense can be many things, from a petty annoyance to an outright insult. I train people to take the high road and overlook offenses by believing the best in others. By definition, overlooking an offense is intentionally choosing not to hold on to hurt nor to judge a person who has caused hurt. It’s a tool, a way to keep a situation from getting worse, a way to not let bitterness eat away at us when we are offended.  But we don’t want to confuse overlooking with denial. Overlooking is choosing not to pursue judgment against another person or to hold on to a hurt. Denial is pretending an offense didn’t take place when it did.

In a meeting just recently, I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to ask the people in the room a question that I read in a book I was reading on peacemaking. “What is something I need to die to as a leader?” It’s not the kind of question you would ask every day.  But I realized it was a question that I could ask myself more often.  Each person looked at me perplexed.  Then, they started sharing their own shortcomings and lack of wisdom.  Truly wisdom from above and not my own. The results were remarkable.

I learned that day that when I am vulnerable, humility steps in and Jesus wins.  When I am humble, I act with justice and prefer mercy. I walk differently. Though I have let pride and my thin skin get the best of me many times, I am thankful I can experience times when wisdom from heaven comes down. Jesus  wins more often in my life than not!

Next Steps   

Take time today to reflect on when you have experienced wisdom from above when you least expected it.  And praise God for His wisdom each and every day.