How many of us have a plan for the life of someone else? It can be a child, a grandchild, a staff member or a friend. And for that matter, how many people have a plan for our lives? And, there are those who would like to fix others - to help them solve their problems or perceived problems. That fact is that we cannot control the human heart of another person. We can influence them (see my book Deep Influence), but we cannot control them. And when we do we actually try to take the role of the Holy Spirit.
In the role of leader of a mission organization I spend a great deal of time helping others determine their role in the organization as well as potential staff members who are moving our way. It is a delicate role. What I can do is indicate that there is a potential fit but what I cannot do is determine for them whether they either want that fit or feel called to it. Only they and the Holy Spirit can determine that. And the Holy Spirit has a wonderful way of revealing to us where we should be if we listen.
This is also why I hold all staff with an open hand. There are many times when staff resign that I wish it were not so but who am I to question the direction of the Holy Spirit in their lives? What I don't like is when people leave because they don't feel they have a large enough platter because we can generally solve that if we had know about it. But God's call and fit are His issue, not mine. The day will come when God will call me from this job to something else and again, that is His role, not mine.
We need to be careful in our mentoring and coaching of others, informally or formally, not to take responsibility for what is God's role in their lives. We can give feedback, provide counsel and encourage but ultimately we must always give others the ability to decide what is best for them - between them and God. Not to do so is to potentially put them in a place that is not where they belong. Some people will respond to the pressure of others rather than from the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
God has a plan for my life, and yours. I have insights into that plan for others but cannot play the role of determining that plan.
Posted from Oakdale, MN
All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence, are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.