A Cost of Leadership is Your Choice of Words.

A cost of leadership is your choice of words. Jesus lays out the cost of being His disciple In Luke 14:28-33. He stripped away any impression that following Him would not come with a cost. A cost is something you give up or pay in return for something gained. In the context of leadership it is giving up certain ‘rights’ in exchange for gaining the trust required to lead.

Leaders in government, business and, especially, the church have the responsibility of watching over those whom they are leading. In the context of the church those we lead are becoming disciples, giving up life as they knew it for the life of Christ. Leaders pay a price for the greater responsibility to fulfill the intent of our foundation scripture, i.e. the cost of the leader is greater than the cost of the follower.

One such cost of leadership is the freedom to say whatever you want just because you want to say it. The Bible is very clear in James 3 that our words carry power. The tongue is a mighty force to direct, guide, affect and influence people for good and for evil. The Apostle Paul made it clear, regarding acceptable and unacceptable food, that believers have the freedom to eat whatever they want, though not all of what we eat is beneficial. So it is with our words; we have freedom to say what we want, but not all of what we say may benefit us, the people around us, or the cause of Christ. In America we have constitutional freedom of speech. We can say just about anything we want…………legally. So it is with leaders …….we can say anything we want……legally. But is what we say beneficial to us, to people around us, and to the cause?

Many years ago I had an employee who got into a heated public exchange with another person in our organization. The employee got caught up in the intensity of the moment and was carried away by the current of the conflict. My employee was right in terms of this view of the issue and I agreed with that view; however, the words used, the anger of the exchange, and the public venue only served to hurt the cause. I later counseled that person of a better way.
Leaders; we are held to a higher standard of using our tongue to benefit the cause, especially the cause of Christ. It is one of the costs of being a leader. Ask yourself these questions before entering an intense verbal engagement; (1) is what I’m about to say bringing forth truth? (2)Is what I’m about to say conveyed with an attitude to benefit the hearer, i.e. for their ultimate good? (3)Is what I’m about to say delivered in the correct forum, public or private, that will best benefit the cause?

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