Healthy Leaders


My Role in Changing Other People

Doreen Kwarimpa-AtimDoreen Kwarimpa-Atim

How could she do this to me? Couldn’t she see how much she’d hurt me? My closest friend had let me down a third time in a row. For her sake she needed to apologize.

I felt I needed to make her feel guilty – so that she would change. So I made my responses to her short and curt so that she would get the message. I felt completely justified, but began to see that my limited communication was driving the wedge further between us. Yet still she did not even seem to realize that she had upset me – which frustrated me even more!

Then in one quiet moment as I was “complaining” to God about this, I was reminded that it is the Holy Spirit’s work to convict people of sin, righteousness and justice (John 16:8). Not mine. I realized that I was trying to “help” God to correct my friend based on my feelings, motives and desires. I was trying to take over the Holy Spirit’s responsibility. In my work with organizations, I also sometimes get stressed when I feel I have to be the one to bring conviction and make them change.

I need to let God change people and even organizations. He is the potter and we are the clay. As an OD (Organizational Development) person and as a leader, I have to let go of control, avoid judgment, exercise trust and create space for grace.

This week, think about:

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