I was in a meeting recently with a few officemates. I told one of them, “I’m feeling a little bothered by _______. Help me figure this out. Does this person really have an issue that we need to deal with or am I just being impatient?”
The answer I received back: That person does have an issue. But you are also impatient. Let’s wait for God to bring the issue to light.
I love working with people who know my shortcomings.
I am thankful that they know how flawed I can be and help me with my weaknesses.
There are many temptations to hide our mistakes, even from those who love us. Maybe we’re afraid of being rejected. Maybe we think they’ll stop respecting us. Maybe we think our relationship with them will change if we admit it.
But as many as those reasons are, there are better ones for letting quality people in close enough to know the truth.
1. They can help us now.
When we hide our sins, we’re saying, “I’m more concerned about my reputation than actually getting better.” That’s like saying, “I’m more concerned about looking healthy than really being rid of this sickness.”
The Bible says, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Provebrs 28:13) But by admitting our flaws to other people, we can get help. People who don’t admit their mistakes can’t be helped. How tragic it is to crash and burn with people all around who can help us. No, it’s better to admit it and get help.
2. They can protect us.
Another benefit of being open with my flaws with my team is they can cover for me. CJ Nunag, our National Director in LifeBox, knows how impatient, impulsive, and insensitive I can be. It isn’t news to him. I admit stuff to him at work that other people don’t know about. He balances me A LOT.
But here’s an unexpected benefit: when other people complain to him about me, he can protect me. He can say, “Yeah, Joseph and I talked about that. I can assure you he’s sorry about it.” It stops the complaint right in its tracks. But CJ wouldn’t be able to do that if we weren’t open with each other. (And also coz he’s really a great guy.)
There are people all around you who wanna help. Let’s help them help us.
3. They probably know about it already.
Sometimes we think that admitting our mistakes will make people lose faith in us. As leaders, it can make our position insecure. But the truth is they probably know about it already. They’ve felt our shortcomings and the effects of our failures. So hiding it from them only shows there really isn’t any trust to begin with.
But try admitting it and you’ll be surprised that you actually gain respect from them. In the first story I wrote above, the person who said that to me is someone who I am clearly overseeing. And yet, because of our relationship we can talk with each other frankly. This hasn’t removed her trust in me as a leader, but it only seems to strengthen it.
I pray that we all can experience the freedom in having a set of relationships that know about our shortcomings and still love us anyway. If you don’t have that, message me in the comments. I’d love to introduce you to people who can do that. And to the One who can help you be that kind of person to others.