Tell Me the Truth

“Speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head– Christ.”  Ephesians 4:15

The landscape of corporate America is littered with senior leaders who have lost their way.  Somewhere along the journey, that man or woman who started strong lost their ethical or moral compass.  True north became whatever it takes to get the job done. Compass destroyers include greed, pride, isolation, arrogance, self-sufficiency, egotism, materialism, fear, or being overly concerned with what others think.  Another major reason why many leaders fail to finish strong is neglect.  High impact leaders often become so busy that they neglect the core basics of life.  Scriptures often remind us to “watch ourselves” and to “be alert.”  We are to guard ourselves and evaluate our actions and motives.  But even there, we can get in danger, because “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”  (Jeremiah 17:9)   Self-deception is a scary thing!

So, how can we stay the course and finish strong? Beyond staying vibrantly connected to God, it is critical to have other people in your life who are willing to tell you the truth.  This is often neglected.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”  Proverbs 27:5

Ask most any person who has lost their way, how it happened, and you will most likely hear them say something like, “I didn’t have anyone in my life who knew what I was doing.  Oh, I had lots of people around me, but most just told me what they thought I wanted to hear.  I didn’t allow them to be close enough to really know me.”

We need people (at least one person other than our spouse) in our lives who know us so well they can sense when we are lying or withholding information.  We need to be asked tough questions.  We need open rebuke, not hidden love.  And we need to be this type of friend, one who doesn’t withhold rebuke.  What kind of friend says nothing to a friend who has possibly strayed off course?  Done right, it’s not judging or condemning, it’s pure love.  When a trusted friend questions an area of my life, I’m not offended.  I’m touched by his concern.  I appreciate his desire to help me stay the course.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17

We don’t sharpen knives with a soft towel.  It takes iron to sharpen iron.

Pray for God to show you that person, and then approach them with the idea of “iron sharpening iron.”  Make the time and put forth the effort.  You will be glad you did.

Stay Sharp, Finish Strong,

Jeff Wilson

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