Courage is rooted in our relationship with God and in His promises. As closeness and confidence in Him grow, we are less intimidated by the pressures of life and more confident in His power and presence.
Never be ashamed of who you are in Christ. Too often the challenge of living in a sinful world overwhelms us, and fear of rejection, persecution, insults, or hardship causes us to retreat. Christ gives us the strength and ability to overcome and displace evil with good.
Officers are routinely faced with dilemmas and temptations that will test their integrity. Christian officers must be constantly alert checking their motives. Moral courage rests in a relationship with God that does not allow us to be ruled by our fears.
Instead, we trust in God who has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline that overcomes fear. We must own up to our mistakes and be subject to the consequences of our failings without blame-shifting, deception, or making excuses.
Caring for your troops is generally acknowledged as an important aspect of military leadership, but its practice often gets lost in the face of competing goals and requirements. When the motives of a leader’s heart are self-serving, caring for others becomes a secondary concern.
When a Christian officer cares about people exclusively for performance enhancement reasons, the motives of the heart are not pure. Love is giving and serving without expectation of return benefit. It is not manipulation.
Don’t get so focused on job performance or your reputation that you miss the people. Remember you are Christ’s ambassador and people are the mission. Love your people in practical ways. Help them solve their problems. Care enough to listen. Take time to really get to know them. Handle them with patience and kindness. Pray for them. Prayer will focus your heart and bring genuine concern for their well-being.
As you consider these “Three Cs of Leadership” remember that we, as Christian officers, should take time to examine our motives and guard against prideful, self-centered pursuits so that by grace we strive to honor the Lord in our work.
Our security, identity, and hope are in Christ—not in the favor of men, promotions, or reputation. Our purpose is greater than the bottom line. If you achieve success in the world but destroy people in the process, you prove yourself a hypocrite—and will lose the trust and respect of your people.
Be assured that challenges will come, but with every temptation God is faithful to provide the strength and the means for you to overcome. Prepare your mind for action and set your hope on the grace of God. The Bible teaches us that the Lord strengthens those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. May you learn to trust Him more and yourself less.