I am blessed to have some great friends. While I always enjoy making new friends, there is nothing like an old friend. Someone who has known you long, and known you well. These are the friends who can see right through the veneer we sometimes try to hide beneath. And because they can see through it they won’t let you hide. These are the ones who ask penetrating questions. I have to come clean because they will know if I am skirting the issue by giving some vague reply. These are the folks I go to for counsel. These are the folks I always listen to.
In a post not long ago, Perry Noble asked the question: Who Should You Listen To? He then proceeds to make a list of 8 qualifications.
If you are in leadership (and especially if you are in church leadership) then you have probably discovered the reality that God loves you…and everyone else has an incredible plan for your life!
One of the struggles that we all MUST wrestle with is who to listen to when it comes to making decisions. The Bible tells us that we unwise to be Lone Rangers (Proverbs 15:22) and the Bible has several stories of people who made bad decisions because they listened to the wrong people (see I Kings 12:1-16.)
However, it is IMPOSSIBLE to listen to everyone. With the barrage of information and opinions coming our way via Facebook, email, twitter and other media, anyone who tries to focus on the opinions of everyone will simply lose his mind, and most likely any leadership effectiveness, if his obsession becomes making everyone happy.
So, who do we listen to? Who is it that should ALWAYS have access to us…and we should ALWAYS desire their thoughts and insights? Here is Perry Noble’s list:
#1 – Those who know me, who have spent time with me and understand that there is a person behind the personality.
#2 – Those who have seen me at my best and worst…and love me anyway.
#3 – Those who do not automatically assume the worse about me and always give me the benefit of the doubt. (ALWAYS beware of the person who seeks to pounce on you as soon as they hear something bad!)
#4 – Those who are willing to stand with me in a tough time–THOSE WHO BLEED WITH ME CAN LEAD WITH ME!!!
#5 – Those who offer correction for the purpose of building up rather than tearing down (people who always seek to tear you down should be ignored! If they do not correct/confront in love then they are nothing more than a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal – see I Corinthians 13:1)
#6 – Those who are willing to take a confrontation straight to the person rather to an online audience.
#7 – Those who are not always looking for a reason to attack/hate you.
#8 – Those who have the goal of restoring you when you mess up and not wounding you!