I remember becoming a young, high speed, driven NCO, (Non Commissioned Officer); and standing there as three men I highly respected pinned upon me the rank of Corporal. I remember them telling me that I had authority now, and with that authority came greater responsibility.
It wasn’t long however, that I began to lose sight of my responsibility to lead and train my subordinates; but rather, I began to look for infractions that would give opportunity to display my authority with corrective action. I often think about what 1SG Jason York, then Staff Sergeant, said to me in private after such an occasion. He said, “CPL Underwood, NCO’s do not get pleasure and enjoyment from ‘smoking’ soldiers! Good NCO’s train them to become better soldiers, because they will one day be in your foxhole.”
Do you look for more opportunities to “rip someone’s face” more than to encourage? Is reproving and rebuking more important, and bring you more pleasure than exhorting others? We are first and foremost Christians. We are to be like Christ! In Luke 4:18, Jesus made very clear when beginning His earthly ministry that He would “heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind, and set at liberty them that are bruised!”
Do others see you and wonder what infraction you will find with them? Do they cringe and worry that they haven’t lived up to your expectation? Or are you one that encourages others to grow toward “Christlikeness”? Is your attitude that of, “they should already be …”? Or do you show others you genuinely care and want them to succeed?
There may come a day that you will be in need of someone you had an impact on! Will it be an impact of encouragement and correctiveness? I recall hearing more than once, that you can learn as much on “what not to do,” as you can on what to do! Will people learn “what not to do” from how you treat others? Or will you love, care for, and encourage someone to be more like Jesus? We are all just servants of a mighty God! Our authority is not our own! What will you do with what the Lord has placed in you? How will you be a steward of you position? My prayer is that people will have a greater desire to please the Lord, and not so much a desire to NOT get rebuked by me.