Character for Leaders 04 Be Honest!

You need to be honest to have character, and you need to start off by being honest with yourself. The hardest people to pastor and lead are the people who are lying to themselves.

We have had to deal with leaders before who are not honest with themselves, and it always comes out, they stop being honest with others before long. This is one of the easiest way to destroy your influence – be dishonest. Because when people cannot trust you, they cannot follow you. It really is that simple.

Do not be dishonest. Do not say I am always a good person if you have issues you are dealing with, but look in the mirror and say “In the spirit, I am righteous, and I am going to work out my salvation and end up living righteous, I am going to deal with this problem”. I have had to deal with people with huge problems, but they will look me in the eye and say “it’s not a big deal” – a lie they have told themselves hundreds of times before they tell it to me!

Most Christians are trying to live right, but the truth is that a lot of us struggle to live right when it becomes inconvenient to do so. Sometimes doing the right thing can really upset people. Self-discipline is hard, church discipline can upset people so much. Every time I correct someone in the church, I am aware it might be the last conversation I have with them, and next week they suddenly feel “led of the Spirit” to go to another church, or go to Bible College and never go to church, or some other crazy idea that came from their own flesh. They know it is the flesh, but they lie to themselves, justify their flesh rather than subdue it.

We cannot be like that – we have to live for God. Most Christians think living for God is optional, until they meet another Christian who is not living for God and their behaviour directly affects them.

Make a decision today to be an honest person, and most importantly be honest with yourself.

Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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