#4 – You Must Strive To Be Well Liked By Everyone.
Confession…I like it when people like me! I think every leader does. I have never actually met a person that loves to be hated.
However, if we are going to strive to be the leader that God wants us to be then we must embrace that, in order to do that, we must be willing to be disliked by many in order to honor the ONE!!!
The other day I was reading Acts 7, Stephens speech. It began pretty normal…he was following the “rules” of an excellent communicator. He established common ground with his audience, he spoke with authority and had the crowd locked in for a while.
THEN…all of a sudden Acts 7:51-53 happened. Seriously, if you will read the entire speech it is perfectly normal until this point…but evidently SOMETHING switched in Stephen! (BTW…he said some REALLY not nice things to people—while UNDER the CONTROL of the HOLY SPIRIT! Hmmmmm!)
Stephen did connect with people…but wasn’t really concerned with being liked—He HAD to be true to the ONE who had called him…and who he would one day stand in front of and given an account. (BTW…pastors…Hebrews 13:17 should scare the crap out of us!)
The result…the crowd killed him (see Acts 7:54-58) but Jesus honored him (Jesus stood up to receive him into the Kingdom…amazing!) Stephen was willing to be disliked, even to the point of being killed rather than dishonor Jesus!
How about you?
Leaders MUST be willing to make TOUGH CALLS. And we will NEVER make a decision under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that will be affirmed and loved by everyone.
Our calling is not to be liked by people but rather to be loyal to Jesus…which is SO hard at times because, well, people STILL throw rocks…and the rocks always hurt.
However, I am learning that a leader who isn’t willing to make unpopular decisions and deal with the pain that may result cannot be trusted by God to do the things HE places inside of us to do.
At the end of the day I want to be able to say to Him, “YOU can trust me with WHATEVER You want me to do! Even if it means being disliked by the many in order to honor YOU…the ONE who did more for me than “they” have ever done!”
We have a choice (Galatians 1:10), the approval of man or the approval of God…which one will it be?