Do you have someone in your life who you give permission to be honest with you?
God gives us great examples and resources for being a leader in His Word. One of the greatest examples of a leader is King David. God must have wanted us to learn much from David as there is a good portion of the Old Testament dedicated to his life.
There are many things we can learn from David about organization, rallying our team, how to seek forgiveness, compassion for family and close colleagues. And recently reading through the events of David's life I learned the importance of something else: 'always have someone who you allow to speak honestly with you, to you and about you.'
In the book of 2 Samuel chapter 19 we find the scene where David is mourning the death of his son. He is so involved in his own emotions that he is neglecting his family and other followers. Enter Joab, one of David's confidants. Joab has seen how David's hysterical mourning over his son is affecting the moral of his team. Joab then lays into David telling him exactly what his actions are doing to his team.
Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, "Today you have shamed all your soldiers…. Today you have made it clear that the commanders and soldiers mean nothing to you… Now get up! Go out and encourage your soldiers, for I swear if you don't go out, not a man will remain with you tonight." 2 Samuel 19:5-7 selected
That speech took some courage and I don't think it would have been able to happen unless:
- David and Joab had a good relationship
- there had been previous open and honest conversations in the past
- Joab cared for David
So it brings me back to the opening question: do you have someone in your life who you give permission to be honest with you?
As I get older I see a great importance in this. I realize that I need it now and I wish I had been brave enough to have someone like Joab in my life when I was younger.