The policy was clear, and the documentation was in hand. In the human resources world, this was an easy decision. However, as a Christian, it wasn’t quite that cut and dried. You see firing someone is a big deal. It impacts more than just the workplace and that one individual. How would it impact their family, the workplace, employee morale, etc? More importantly, what would Jesus do? I can’t tell you how many times someone said to me, just give me one more chance. How can you do this to me?

In my years as a human resources professional, I’ve had to lead several very sensitive conversations. As I’ve coached and grown other individuals in the field, one thing I’ve taught them is to listen to the Holy Spirit. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details and the day-to-day tasks at work, that we forget to pray. We think we have the “right” answers, and we forget to pause and ask God his opinion and for his words and his guidance.

I can recall some particularly hard situations, when, if I’m honest, I was angry. Why would “they” do that to “us”? And then I would pray. I’d close my office door, and take a couple of minutes. I’d ask God to help me to love like He loves, to help me to see this person as He saw them, and the situation as He saw it. And I can promise, spending a bit of time in prayer before those meetings significantly changed how I approached things. That doesn’t mean that people didn’t lose their jobs. But, with Jesus help, I was able to see the situation a bit differently than I would with my mere human eyes. I was able to love through hard circumstances time and time again; simply because I asked. I was able to love in spite of the situation at hand.

Over time I came to realize that God is a God of details, and accountability. Grace does not mean that there aren’t consequences. In fact, many times it is just the opposite. At the very beginning of the bible, in Genesis, we see accountability for our actions. If God would have just said to Eve, It’s ok if you eat that fruit… well, the Bible, and our life would look completely different. Instead, God loved Adam and Eve, even though they sinned and made bad choices. He loved them, but there were still consequences. It’s foundational to our beliefs as Christians.

As Christian leaders, we need more Love and Grace. But we need to understand that Grace is not pretending that something didn’t happen. Grace is addressing what happened and loving the person in spite of it.  If we don’t address the hard things, do we truly love that person? And what is best for them?

When someone is sitting across from you with tears brimming, you have to have a clear conscience. When they say things like “how could you do this to me?” you need to know that you have prayed and are loving like God would love. When you know that, your heart changes. In the hard parts of our everyday life, we need the confidence that comes with following the Holy Spirit.

{This post was written for the theme “Clear Conscience”provided by the High Calling Community Network.}