Effective leaders handle conflicts personally, privately and with the spirit of forgiveness. Read Luke 17:3-10.
Jesus, knowing His disciples would soon have major leadership roles, continually taught principles that would make them more effective leaders. When He told them they should forgive a person who had wronged them, even if they wronged them seven times, as long as that person returned and ask for forgiveness, His disciples’ first thought was this may be too much and they would need more faith to accomplish the task. Jesus simply told His team their faith was sufficient and conflict resolution and forgiveness was part of a leader’s everyday job. Jesus was clear that a leader should not expect praise for doing what was an expected part of their leadership role.
Do you get moody and erratic in your leadership when situations in your personal life change? (202-3)
Effective leaders assume responsibility for their team’s wellbeing even when their personal life is putting them under enormous pressure. Read Mark 14:32-42.
Jesus is in Jerusalem just prior to His crucifixion. Jesus has eaten His last meal with His disciples and they have gone outside the city walls to spend the night outdoors in a garden known as Gethsemane. Jesus was aware it was His time to become the sacrificial Lamb of God and He was preparing Himself for His coming death at the hands of the religious leaders and the Roman soldiers. Jesus took a few of His closest friends a short distance from the other disciples and asked them to watch and pray with Him. Verse 33 says, “He began to be deeply distressed and troubled.” Luke 22:44 tells us that His perspiration became drops of blood. His personal situation made Him vulnerable to fear and discouragement. He was counting on His friends for support.
Effective leaders seek to develop God-honoring character. Read Matthew 18:21-35.
Jesus’ disciples were already leaders when they started following Him but spending time with Jesus caused them to see elements of their life that did not match His words and actions. As they saw Jesus’ consistency, the disciples started trusting Jesus’ character enough to ask the inner-hidden-deeper-secret personal questions they were struggling with in their lives. Peter asked Jesus a question every leader struggles with, “How many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” He must have been shocked when Jesus’ answer was, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Conflict management starts with a leader’s attitude. Read Matthew 5:43-45.
Jesus was teaching His disciples some truths that were (and still are) counter cultural. In what many consider His most famous sermon He called His team to be different, to see the world from God’s perspective, to relate to people in a supernatural fashion, and to develop a God-like attitude rather than to accept the popular worldview. With these words, “You have heard that it was said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven,” Jesus challenged a culturally accepted norm held by virtually every leader on earth.
There will be times when every leader’s relationships fail but the wise Christian leader follows God’s model of forgiveness and restoration. Read Hosea 14:1-3.
For 13 chapters in the book of Hosea, God condemned Israel’s people and leaders for their rebellion against Him. In Chapter 14, God gives the people of Israel hope for forgiveness and restoration. The one condition, they must return to Him.