In a post earlier this week, I mentioned that I have been involved in a number of hard conversations lately. These conversations have reminded me of the importance of considering multiple perspectives; of the importance of seeking truth and being willing to act on that information; of being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry; of the way we bring our own emotional “hooks” and issues into relationships, ministry situations, and our leadership; and of the necessity of being aware of your (my) own emotional health as a leader.
A psychologist friend once said that “people put their stuff out there.” Sometimes we’re not aware of our stuff, but it certainly comes out when we get squeezed. As leaders, it’s therefore important to conduct a regular “baggage check” to make sure we’re aware of all the stuff we’re carrying with us. To do this, we need to enlist the help of others: a spouse, good friends (not fans!), perhaps a therapist. Just like at the airport, emotional baggage checks can take time but for ministry leaders, the cost of inadequate screening is far greater than the time spent thoroughly inspecting your luggage.
When is the last time you checked your emotional baggage?