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Question Proverbs 9:8 James 5:16 Hebrews 3:12-14 Workshop Three focuses on the linchpin of effective leadership: healthy interpersonal relationships. Ultimately, only the Gospel can provide a true foundation for healthy relationships, because such relationships require authenticity and openness.  There are two extremes to avoid when seeking to build relationships with others.  Ultimately, the two are related: The first is shallow disregard, where we really don’t love one another and are unwilling to be vulnerable with others.  We don’t care what they think, and we do what we feel like doing.  Or, we don’t want people to see our faults or mistakes for fear that they would think less of us.  Related to this latter issue is the second extreme: ingratiation and impression management, where we are more concerned about what people think about us and what we can do to get them to like us as opposed to truly caring for them.  When other people become our source of acceptance, joy and love, as opposed to Jesus Christ, we end up using people, even when we are trying to “serve” them.  Ultimately what we want is for them to like us.  On the first extreme, we know what Scripture tells us that we must love others as Christ loved us, even the “least of these”:  the difficult or socially awkward employee, the trying boss, etc.  All of these people need the love of God, and it’s only through Christ’s power that we can be changed and truly love others. On the latter point, impression management, the Gospel also frees us.  We can’t do anything to make God love us less, and we can’t do anything to make Him love us more.  Why should we be afraid, then, of being open about our sinfulness?  If we’re not open about it, then all we’re doing is allowing it to grow in our hearts and gain more power over us, and that is exactly what the Enemy wants!  But since we know that we are loved unconditionally by the Father, through Jesus Christ, let’s be serious about the business of confessing sins to one another and walking in the light as we are called to do.  It’s the only way we’re really going to enjoy true freedom in Christ.  Impression management is incredibly taxing on the human soul. Once we can get our lives right with God, we can truly love others.  We’re not afraid of being real and vulnerable with them, nor are we desperate for their approval or friendship, because in both cases, God is our source for love and acceptance, not others.  We no longer are trying to find happiness on our own strength.  Our hope is in the Lord, which means that we can trust God, live unselfishly, and care for others by faith.  There is much that can be said about these heart issues and how they impact our relationships with others.  But hopefully these thoughts will begin to generate some thoughts about true leadership and true authenticity with others. Read Full Question