In the military, leaders are taught to make “on the spot corrections” when people engage in improper behavior. If mistakes continue supervisors are to document in writing what is wrong and prescribe the right action or attitude that is expected. But after serving in leadership positions at six different levels I find that most supervisors, (me included), struggle when it comes to confrontation. Speaking the truth for some is like chaining a tiger. They would rather not offend the one capable of lashing back. It takes time and a strong disposition to properly deal with those who need correcting. Rather than face someone it is easier to overlook problems and just hope they will go away. If there is no avoiding having to counsel, most leaders prefer making oral corrections. This is less time consuming and stressful. The problem with this technique is there is no record established to show a pattern of misbehavior with a stubborn malcontent and therefore punishment or removal is difficult to impose.
Nehemiah 13:15—At that time I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in stores of grain and loading them on donkeys, along with wine, grapes, and figs. All kinds of goods were being brought to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned them against selling food on that day.
Bible teachers often use Nehemiah as a role model for what great leadership looks like. In the passage above we see one of the reasons why. Merchants were selling goods on the Sabbath. Nehemiah saw what was going on and further noticed that the leaders refrained from addressing the problem. “I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them: ‘What is this evil you are doing—profaning the Sabbath day?’” (13:17) When a few merchants persisted in camping outside Jerusalem’s gate before Saturday, Nehemiah warned them he would use force against them. They ceased their gate-squatting routine.
God makes it clear in Hebrews that He disciplines us for our benefit and so we can “share His holiness” (12:10). To confront (when done properly) really is to care. If you are a parent don’t neglect disciplining your children. If you are a boss, confront because you seek the betterment of those you lead. Confront because it is the right thing to do.
If you avoid confrontation when it is needed, eventually others won’t take you seriously.—Mark Sanborn in You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)