Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. — Romans 15:14
I don’t know what’s more uncomfortable: to receive criticism or to give it. No one likes (or should like) to point out anything negative in someone. In fact, even though we are taught to edify one another in Romans 14:19, in the next chapter we are reminded also to admonish each other.
So how do you, as a leader, walk the line of pointing out flaws, unacceptable behavior, or even sin in a sister’s life or work?
Humble yourself before the Lord and first confess your own sins. Ask for wisdom and seek instruction from His Word and, if necessary, from godly counsel. Wait on the Lord. Allow time for the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and to lead you.
In 1 Timothy 5:21, Paul warns Timothy not to take sides. The text instructs Timothy not to be quick to judge, and encourages observation and witnesses. Relying on rumor or second-hand information is no better that lending an ear to gossip. If you cannot confirm, but you feel led to go through with the discussion, be clear to point out that you have not observed this behavior.
Speak the Truth in Love
Once you know you must act, do so with grace. Remain calm and loving. Make sure you have allowed plenty of time in your meeting for the person to process the information. (Remember, you have been preparing for this, she hasn’t!) When possible, use Scripture to support your comments. Ask questions—allow the person to talk things though. Offer support and be sure to pray with her.
It is always a good idea to follow up. A simple call to make sure she has not misunderstood or hasn’t fallen into despair. Remember the enemy loves to divide us and grow doubt- your position as a leader is also to protect women from the enemy!
I hope these guidelines can help you as you lead His daughters toward a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Christ Jesus. May God bless you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dolly Mink has a heart for women who are hurting. Years of experience in Christian leadership have given her a unique perspective and she is eager to share her observations insights, and words of encouragement all in a way that honors her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dolly serves on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at River Oak Church in Chesapeake, and on the SBCV Women’s Ministry Leadership Team.
To read more, visit her blog, Grateful for the Grace.