Tough Love or Criticism?

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[vimeo id="128895431"] You know, one of the downsides of leadership is that from time to time you have to correct people. Sometimes, you have to deal with people who made some pretty big mistakes. The Scriptures teach that when we confront people, we should do so with love. So how do you correct a person “with love”? Here are a few thoughts on how to approach people with that spirit of love and not of criticism.

First of all, criticism wants to humiliate, but love wants to restore. Paul writes about the importance of confronting a brother or sister in private. Why? Because a leader’s primary concern should be to fix the problem and restore the person with as little damage to the relationship as possible. Critics don’t care about the relationship. In fact, criticism usually comes from people who don’t have a relationship with the person. It’s easy to criticize those who you do not truly know or understand.

Secondly, criticism points out what’s wrong, but love points out how to do better. Like the first point, love always starts with a desire to restore. You see, an effective leader understands the potential of the person, and they want them back on the team. They know that person would be a valuable asset if they were functioning at their full potential. A critic, on the other hand, wants to make their failure personal. An effective leader will come along side a person and walk through the restoration process with them.

Lastly, criticism focuses on the present, but love builds for a future. The point of confrontation is to build a better future. If you are confronting someone for a different reason, you may need to rethink if you are truly correcting out of love. You see, a critic wants to dwell on the present failure. To them, the future is irrelevant. But an effective leader is future-oriented from the start. They are bringing correction for the purpose of empowering a brighter future.

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