By Adeola Badru
Leaders have enormous power at their disposal. It derives not from their ability to promote or fire. Nor does it stem from their control over finances and their ability to dispense bonuses and salary increases.
Leaders actually have an influence that is more impactful and longer lasting, yet, sadly, they use it far too infrequently: the power to bless.
When God established His own people, He made this promise: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
“I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3).
God’s heart has always been set on blessing His people. The first words in the book of Psalms are, “Blessed is the man who . . .” Jesus began His famous sermon on the mount by declaring, “Blessed are the . . .” We tend to focus on God’s blessing to us.
What we often forget is that God intends us to be a blessing as well. In fact, the reason God blesses us is so we can be a conduit of blessing to others.
In the Old Testament, fathers typically bestowed verbal blessings. Their children might have lost sight of who God intended them to be, as Jacob did when he cheated his brother and lied to his father.
But fathers recorgnised the truth about their children’s future and the good things God intended for them.
People believed God would honor those blessings. In fact, God instructed the priests to speak words of blessing over the people regularly (Numbers 6:22-27).
Why should leaders make use of blessing?
Today’s society is largely devoid of blessing. Many children grew up without a father figure. Others have fathers who are abusive, critical and demanding, not loving.
I contend that the absence of blessing is causing much of the unrest, anger, and confusion in society today.
Leaders have the incredible opportunity to see who God made people to be. Several times in my leadership career, I have seen potential in people who did not recognize it in themselves.
The key, of course, is not to say inspiring things that are untrue. Blessing is about far more than sentimentality or wishful thinking. It has to be based on truth.
Therefore, if you have been closely observing someone and notice their inner character and potential, you can speak with authority into their life.
The fact that you noticed something in them that is deeper than the surface is part of the blessing.
Another way to bless people is to speak words of affirmation about them and their future. Character leads to action.
When you discern someone’s character, you gain a glimpse into that person’s future.
For example, when you discern that someone has integrity, you can predict, quite confidently, that friends and colleagues will view that person as trustworthy, and that trust will inevitably lead to certain opportunities.
Or you may discern that someone is always sensitive to other people’s feelings. Those who experience pain or crisis will inevitably call on such a person.
The power of blessing is life-changing. It speaks to people’s deepest needs. It ought to empower the Church.
In a society that craves blessing, local churches ought to be flooded with people who sense they can experience blessing there.
Likewise, Christian employers and managers ought to have a huge advantage over atheist leaders. Christians have the Holy Spirit residing within them.
The Spirit knows each person’s needs and hurts. He can guide you to extend a blessing to those around you.
If you strive to bless others, you will never lack friends. When you build people up, you are never more like Jesus.