Over the last 30 years, I’ve had the honor of serving as a coach for women in executive leadership of pregnancy help organizations.
I found that there is one thing that no leader can afford to ignore – a wounded heart.
There are three principles in dealing with the wounded heart factor.
FIRST – GETTING WOUNDED WILL HAPPEN
You cannot avoid hurtful arrows from striking your spirit. We live in a fallen world composed of Daughters of Eve and Sons of Adam who have hidden agendas and unresolved issues in their own lives. Being hit with an arrow that wounds your spirit does not mean that you are weak – it happens to everyone – it means you are human.
SECOND – DEAL WITH A WOUND IMMEDIATELY
Never, I mean never stuff a wounded spirit or tell yourself it does not hurt. If you stuff a wounded spirit, it will own you – eventually. The fruit of a wounded spirit unhealed is bitterness. Scripture warns us about bitterness in verses such as Ephesians 4:31, Hebrews 12:15 and Romans 3:14. Forgiveness is a choice. The smallest spark of bitterness can turn into a consuming fire when fanned by the slightest wind. Be quick to forgive. A festering wound is a dangerous thing.
THIRD – DISCIPLINE YOUR MIND
Bitterness is a pitfall for leaders because bitterness changes how you perceive situations. Leaders must be able to correctly discern situations and people. Bitterness will poison your soul and mind. No leader can afford to let bitterness have the slightest foothold in their mind or spirit.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says that we are to take “every thought captive to the obedience of God”. The word “captive” in the Greek is aichmalōtizō. It means, to “lead away as a captive”.
When I think of leading a captive away, it seems to me that no one becomes a captive without a fight, right? Generally, there is a battle that takes place and then the victor binds the captive before leading them away.
Really, how many captives would go peacefully?
Most new captives would resist even when bound by rope, right? Okay, perhaps if a gun was pointed to the back of the captive there may be less resistance but the captive would watch of a every chance to turn on you.
- You accept that you will get wounded from time to time.
- You understand that a wounded spirit can do great damage to your ability to lead.
- You deal with a wounded spirit quickly.
- You choose to forgive – it’s completely up to you.
- You take control over your thoughts.
- You never give up. You never give in. No matter how long it takes.
WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Although, I am growing plenty of thick skin in my old age, I have to battle arrows that wound my spirit from time to time. I also know that I cannot afford to let any seed of bitterness plant itself in my spirit or God will be limited in how He can use me.
So make a conscious decision to forgive and tell God that I need His help to do so.
I deal with any thought that enters my mind that reminds me that I was hurt. I do this whenever it comes. This could be one time or hundred times a day. I do not have control over if the thought comes – no one does. But I do have power over what I do with the thought.
How do I “deal” with it?
I speak out loud something like this, “Go away. I have chosen to forgive this person or group. Bitterness, there is not room for you here, I will not give you one tiny little place in my mind to sit. So leave now.”
Sometimes, God gives me a specific verse to use to have victory over my mind. And I will quote the verse out loud and use it in “bringing a thought captive”. This works extremely well.
I’ve found that speaking out loud to the festering voice in my head and hearing it with my own ears is my best weapon against these attacks.
Warning! If you use my method understand that this can be unsettling for others to hear. So be careful when and where you do this. (I have often wished I could learn signing language that the deaf use.)
Wounds that attack the spirit want to take control of your mind. They enter our minds as demanding whispers or as roaring voices.
You cannot stop getting wounded. But you can determine if and how much power wounds have over you.
While the method I shared above works for me, I know that God will show you how He wants you to “deal” with a wound so that a root of bitterness does not destroy your ability to lead.
Are you a leader struggling with a wounded spirit that you just cannot seem to get beyond? Call me at 509-886-4894. It will be completely confidential.
Everyone leader needs a safe, transparent and caring coach once in a while. I know I do.