Too many leaders, when facing opposition, leave their responsibilities and move on to a place of less opposition. In some cases, this is because they are not prepared to deal with the hardships they come up against. Some leaders believe that leading should be without opposition because they have the authority and power to lead and make decisions; they believe people should follow them, not oppose them.
Being a leader in God’s Kingdom is never without opposition. In Matthew 5:11 we read that Jesus warned His followers to expect opposition and hardship. Of course, this refers to anyone who becomes a follower of Jesus. However, the New Testament letters provide ample evidence that not all of the people within local churches were perfectly content to do whatever their leaders asked of them. (If you need a reminder, see 1 Corinthians 4 or the book of Galatians). Sometimes opposition comes in response to a particular stance a leader takes; or leaders may face opposition when seeking to lead their organization in a direction they believe God wants it to go.
If you find yourself facing opposition as a leader, let me suggest a couple of things that might help you weather the storm rather than moving on pre-maturely.
Check your motives. Is your current conflict a result of you seeking to honor God or is it about your ego? Sometimes as leaders we can be driven more by a desire to try out the next organizational idea that is on the market, implement the theories of the last leadership book we read, or adopt the method of community outreach we read about in Leadership Magazine than honestly seeking to bring honor and glory to the One who called us in the first place. It is rather easy for ego to get in the way of authentic kingdom building.
One way of checking your motives is to make yourself accountable to at least one person you respect and trust, and who will not in any way be impacted by your decisions. In this way you will get an honest assessment of your motives. Ultimately, your motives should bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
How is your attitude toward those who are opposing you? Are you demeaning them? Are you filled with anger and resentment toward them? Or are you gracious and patient toward them? Are you treating your opposition with respect, dignity and honor as persons created in the image of God?
It is very easy to get caught up in the emotions of the opposition you are facing, and begin to be mean and disrespectful to those who are opposing you. This is a natural human response when facing opposition. As a leader representing the Kingdom of God, your response should be one that honors God. Honoring God calls for you to treat all people with love, respect, honor and dignity.
You may disagree with the people who are opposing you; you may feel deeply hurt by them because of their opposition to you. This is human and natural. But how you respond to them should be godly.
I want to challenge you – before you start looking for the next leadership opportunity because of opposition you are currently facing, check your motives. Is the reason for your opposition because you are seeking to honor God or to feed your ego? Also reflect on how you have been treating those who have been opposing you. Are you responding with kindness and respect?
God’s will never leads where His grace cannot keep. If you are where God wants you to be, then He will provide what you need to face any opposition you are currently up against.
If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.