Jesus gives us his grace and truth packaged in a bundle of joy. Its’ in offering grace that we discover one of the most reliable and powerful leadership principles. You get what you give. When we trust, we are trusted. When we give the benefit of the doubt, we receive the benefit of the doubt. Grace circles back to bless the leader. Over time, being filled with grace fills others with grace. Sometimes leaders lie. It could be about money or sex. Athletes lie about steroid use. Not every leader lies, but some leaders are more adept at spinning a yarn than telling the truth. Truth comes in all shades and degrees in the real world of leadership. It can be weakened, strengthened, abused, and concealed. Truth slips and slides in morally weak hands, but it is the rod of trust in Christlike leadership.
As Christian leaders, we must tell the truth, but we must understand the truth we are speaking. Pontius Pilate asked the question we must ask: “What is truth?” In the twenty-first century, this is not a rhetorical question. The answer shouldn’t be hard, but it is. It’s hard because the way we think about truth changes. When we speak the truth, what do our people hear?
Truth is Jesus Christ- the way, the truth, and the life. Everything a Christian leader looks at should come under the illumination of Christ’s light. When we reverse that and see Jesus in the light of profit, popularity, productivity, or any other leadership value, we can still be Christians who lead, but we stop being Christlike leaders.
At a very personal level, great leaders are truthful leaders. They require it from themselves and from those who follow them. Great leaders are honest, just, realistic, optimistic, enduring, reconciling, responsible, and empowering. Truth demands honesty, justice and peace. Truth offers hope and reconciles. Truth requires acceptance of responsibility. Truth liberates. You will get what you give.