Leaders can’t listen to everyone…it’s impossible with all of the avenues of social media and such.
(I’ve often heard leaders say treat criticism like chewing gum: take it in, chew on it, and then spit it out. The problem is that with as many venues as we have today for communication, well, following this advice is bad because…THAT’S A BIG FREAKIN’ PIECE OF GUM, and no one can chew that much!)
But we’ve GOT to listen to others because Scripture clearly commands us to! Timothy listened to Paul. David listened to Nathan…everyone who has ever accomplished anything significant didn’t do it through their own brilliance; they had people in their lives who could speak truth. So…who do you listen to?
My advice!!! WISE people!!
“Well, who are the wise people?” you ask. GREAT QUESTION!!! Because there are a lot of people out there (especially in Internet world) who believe they are wise.
But let me give you a list of nine things that I really believe a person should have if you are going to listen to them…their “wisdom” should be…
#1 – Pure (no ulterior motives, you know that they love Jesus & want what is best for God’s Kingdom!)
#2 – Peace Loving (if they are always looking for a fight or trying to pick one…avoid them, see Titus 3:10)
#3 – Considerate (always listen to the person whose first reaction is to give you the benefit of the doubt rather than accusing you – see I Corinthians 13:4-7)
#4 – Submissive (is their wisdom offered b/c they want you to be more submissive to the Lord or to their opinion?)
#5 – Full of Mercy (and NOT accusation and condemnation! AND…please understand that there is a HUGE difference between correction, which we all need, and condemnation! Correction is always offered in love…condemnation is offered out of the other person’s desire to just hear you say, “You are right” and/or a desire to attack.)
#6 – Good Fruit (what is the REASON you should listen to them, in other words, what is the fruit in their lives and in their ministry?)
#7 – Impartial (once again, they are NOT trying to get you to submit to their agenda but rather the Lord’s!)
#8 – Sincere (they are talking to you because they seriously love Jesus, love you, and really do want the best for your life!)
#9 – They Are a Peacemaker (not a fight starter, II Timothy 2:23-26, if they always hate, always attack, and always tear down, ignore them!)
(See James 3:17-18 for the source that allowed me to write about this list!!!)