I’ve had a few supervisors in the past that … well, let’s just say, were a little intimidating. Can you relate? I don’t know what your strategy was but I actually looked for reasons to limit my time around them because I was certain any feedback coming in my direction would feel more like a 2X4 than the gentle guidance my bruised but well-guarded ego could handle. One Monday afternoon, I found my best tactics of avoidance through intentional business and unavailability were no match for my supervisor’s ability to punctuate my schedule. A difficult coworker had created a needless confrontation. I wasn’t about to get drawn into the foolish conflict, so I deftly cut him off at the pass with a volley of verbal correction. I was 100% right, but only about 3% tactful. This is what my supervisor wanted to discuss. I braced for shock as the meeting began, but almost immediately I realized my hard-nosed and gruff supervisor had a gentle and compassionate ability to offer correction. He identified in himself how he had made similar mistakes; how he too had grown and developed as a leader through learning the hard way. He encouraged me, offered advice he had found helpful, and provided a listening ear to my frustration and exasperation with my EGR (extra grace required) coworker.

As the short but profound meeting ended, I found myself as surprised as I was grateful for the encounter. Not only had I learned a few helpful leadership methods, I learned I didn’t need to live in fear or try to hide what I did wrong. The Holy Spirit used the moment and immediately I felt the love of Jesus say to me, “You don’t have to fix it before we discuss it.”

I realized then and there how much I avoided coming to God with my sin. I said the right words, and I talked about God’s grace, compassion, and forgiveness; but in reality, I lived like God was a harsh supervisor to be avoided with anything other than positive reports. Wow, how could I be so far from the truth? If my salty supervisor knew how to offer compassionate correction, how much more is God capable of bringing loving correction?

Listen to the words of Hebrews 4:15-16 describing Jesus: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses … Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Bottom-line friends, Jesus is an approachable and wonderful counselor who wants to heap grace, mercy, and help on us in our times of need. We don’t have anything to fear if we come to him in humility. Jesus had plenty of strong words for the pious and proud religious experts of his day, but only love and compassion for those who came to him with brokenness. Jesus will receive you like a golden retriever making a new best friend, not a wolverine on the hunt.

Jaisen Fuson

Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor! And he has gifted his people to help provide wise and loving counsel to others. If you feel the Holy Spirit nudging and desire to receive counsel for yourself, please contact the Emmanuel Faith Care & Counseling Department. We would love to connect you with a counselor who cares and can point you toward the hope and freedom that only Jesus offers! Emmanuel Faith Counseling Resources

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