I've often heard it said that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. I agree. It should be that way. But I sometimes see that the adage translates into, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you coddle."
Being cared for and being coddled may start with the same letter but that's about where the similarities end. In my opinion, it is much more caring for someone to make a hard, gut-wrenching decision to have a difficult conversation with me as their friend than to either ignore my brokenness or say something about me behind my back. In fact, many of the times that the Kingdom have been most palpable to me have been those times when in authenticity a difficult conversation takes place.
It is much easier for us to not confront. It is much easier to take the easy way...hence the obvious name. It evokes much less stress to maintain the status quo or equilibrium. But my times of growth and life-change (those times when I'm being changed by God to look more like His Son) usually don't happen in these contexts. Like muscles being torn during a good work out, my life change and growth usually happens with a tearing. [As a side note, that usually isn't a tearing of my brain tissues alone but rather a tearing of my ego, expectations, or heart in some way.]
So I want to know that people care about me before I care about how much they know...I really do. But I also want that caring to be the right kind of caring. Not coddling. Not allowing me to remain as I am. Rather, I want to be stretched by the kind of love that doesn't leave well-enough alone. Then I'll know how much they care and, probably, how much they know at the same time.
So does that make sense to you? Do you ever think the same way? Does my thinking need to be challenged? Because I want to lead in this same way. So it'd be good to know what you think, too.