Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. (Eph. 6:7)

WHEN I WAS GIVEN my first management position, my supervisor called me into a conference room for “training.” He wore a look of concern on his face. You see, when some people are promoted to management, it’s easy for them to allow their new power to go to their heads—and soon the company has a full-blown mutiny on their hands.

In my case, I’d be managing several creative people in a publishing company. My supervisor was concerned that if I drew in the reins too tightly, I’d thwart their creative mission. In fact, he told me, rather sternly, that if he caught word that I was micromanaging any of these creative folks, he’d give me so much work that I’d have no time to “control” what everyone was doing.

In response, I told him I was going to manage my new team in the same positive ways he managed me. That seemed to adequately address his concerns.

Paul understood that God had established systems of authority. Like anything else, of course, authority and its power can be abused. And so the apostle made it clear to his readers that they were to never, ever abuse their influence in any setting—whether in the home or at work.

If we lead others in the way we like to be led, more than likely, all will be well.

As you receive opportunities to lead, pray for wisdom, humility, and grace.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor; he is also on staff with his church as the small-groups director.