Leaders will be quick to admit that as we look back over our career it is fairly easy to find a suitcase or two filled with regrets. Even Delta can't lose bags filled with woulda, coulda, shoulda.
I've long believed that Paul never fully released his baggage from the stonings he consented to or perhaps even orchestrated.
"And they threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul" (Acts 7:58-59).
"But Saul ravaged the church, entering house by house and dragging out both men and women and committing them to prison" (Acts 8:3).
Subsequent to Damascus, Paul probably had troubled sleep over his leadership of persecution. We have insight into his feelings from all of his writings on the mind:
- Ephesians 4:23: "and be renewed in the spirit of your mind"
- Romans 12:2: "be transformed by the renewing of your mind"
- Philippians 4:8: "think on these things"
Mind renewal permeated Paul's inspired writing. But Paul wasn't the only leader who was tormented by past decisions and actions.
I think I even have regrets about decisions that I know were correct. Most of those regrets are related to relationships. Good business decisions can end personal relationships.
"It's not personal, it's just business," is one of those cop-out phrases that tend to be housed in the DNA code of leaders. It may be only business for the leader but most decisions have very personal impact.
Making the right business decision often leads to regrets. Regrets tend to grow more irrational over time. We tend to forget the details of the issue but remember the relationship. The keys to the kingdom are found in relationships.
I'm thankful that grace helps me waddle through my regrets. But I've also learned that application of grace in the workplace is often confused with weakness. Though I see many examples of grace in the leadership of Jesus, I never have thought Him to be weak.
I've often applied grace in my church leadership. I've been asked, "why are we still hanging on to that person?" Even in the environment of a ministry, grace can be confused with a weakness in the leader. So, I also have regrets about not moving fast enough!
Even with a luggage rack full of regrets, leaders must move forward with the confidence of daily bread. My God will supply all of my needs today. As I pray believing, I know that the Holy Spirit will lead me beside still waters.
Decide with the confidence of one who knows.
Make no room for regrets.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.
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