We're in the middle of a discussion. About leadership and how to have honest community amongst us. Someone shared his struggle, and the way its so easy to hide it. That sometimes we feel stretched so taut by life that we near ripping apart. And tears rise in me when I see him blinking hard. It's hard to say these things, that long to be said but stick in our throats. We don't want to be a bother but we wish someone would ask. If only they could know the hidden wish for comfort.
How can we build this family, this church, this team to be a place of comfort and guidance and honest meeting?
Can we speak the truth in love? Not share harshness or vengeance dressed as telling the truth, but the truth that points to shared brokeness and aspiration. The truth that shows my sin as much as it does yours.
It's a stumbling, faltering thing because blame or insincerity lurk just by our elbows. And real truth bruises me as it does you. No one always gets it right, but I don't want you to see that in me. Why do I have to be a reminder of imperfection?
"A leadership team is meant to be a community of friends who suffer and delight in one another. And to the degree there is a refusal to be friends, there will be hiding, game playing, politicizing power, and manipulating the process to achieve invulnerability." Leading with a Limp, p123.
How do I respond to questions that feel like an attack?
When someone asks if I am angry, the denial rises too quickly. It's defensive, dishonest. And the pause to shape honest, love words is painful. The pause to listen is more so.
And it can be just as hard to share my apology or my hurt. Authentic relationship, honest communion, real family is difficult, but I sense the reward each time a flash of humble truth is shared and weathered.
I thank God for these friends who share honest thoughts that challenge me.
Here's a challenge...
"The love of truth creates a deep hunger and humility to eat and drink more truth. And biblical truth is ultimately always about relationship, therefore the more we partake of truth, the more we are drawn to hunger for the kind of relationships that are marked by a passionate love of God." Leading with a Limp, Dan Allender , p121.