“And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.”
One of the hardest things to learn for young adult leaders is that people won’t respect you just because you hold a leadership position, but you must earn their respect. Many young leaders have ruined their ability to earn the respect of those they lead because they demanded or expected respect instead of trying to earn it.
The verse above shows a critical key in earning respect. If you are going to establish your throne, you are going to have to earn the respect of those who look to that throne for leadership. One thing you must acknowledge if you are going to earn respect is that it is a privilege to be able to sit on the throne. However, building the respect you need to lead people to greater heights is earned through several actions.
First, it takes time to earn respect. Notice the phrase, “…shall the throne be established…” The word “shall” means that it is going to take time. In other words, over time you earn respect. You will have to be patient with those you lead and serve them if you are going to earn their respect.
Second, you earn respect by being merciful. The verse above says, “And in mercy shall the throne be established…” Having mercy means that you believe in people. People will know that you believe in them if you are merciful with them when they make mistakes. Saying that you believe in people and practicing it is only done by believing in restoration and forgiveness. When someone does something they should not do, mercy moves you to be forgiving and to restore them. Mercy also means that you don’t unload on them because they did wrong. Mercy withholds the full force of power for the sake of not destroying them. Mercy moves you to give them another chance to prove themselves. Mercy goes a long way in earning the respect you need to lead people.
Second, you earn respect by seeking judgment. In other words, you are always seeking to make the right decision about what you are doing. Judgment isn’t quick to decide, but it looks at the whole situation so that you can make the right decisions. People learn to respect you when your judgments are right; they will lose confidence in you if you have poor judgment. People are willing to give you a break, but constantly making bad decisions will cause people to lose their confidence in your ability to lead. If you want people to respect you, you had better learn to make good decisions.
Third, you earn respect by hasting righteousness. In other words, you must not be hesitant in doing the right thing no matter how hard it may be. Most leaders know the right thing to do, but they don’t have the stomach to do it because of the risk it takes. When your decisions are right and you are quick to do the right thing is when people will learn to respect you.
My friend, respect is not built overnight, but it is built over years of mercy and multiplied decision. It ultimately comes down to your ability to make decisions. If you don’t make the right decision to be merciful with people and to do the right thing, you will have a hard time earning the respect of those you lead. When you are merciful enough to give time a chance to validate your heart for those you lead is when you will find that people will want to respect you.