"The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel" - Proverbs 12:10.
The wisdom writer was describing farmers, who realize they must take good care of their work animals since they are the ones doing the heavy work that feeds their families. If that was true of farmers and their relationships with oxen and bulls, how much more should leaders take good care of those who make the leaders look smart by doing good work? Yet some leaders, even in the Church, feel it is below them to give special treatment to those in their employ (or their volunteers), feeling that somehow that makes them weak or will cause the workers to take advantage of them and their kindness. Yet, the concept of justice for workers is a recurring theme throughout the Bible, perhaps summarized best by these verses in James: "Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter" (James 5:4-5).
LEADERSHIP STEP: Do you know what each of your team members needs to receive 'special treatment?' For one, it may be time off; for another, special recognition; for another, a bonus. Today, take some time to find out what you can do to take care of the needs of your team members, remembering that each person is motivated or blessed by different actions and rewards. Once you find out what it is, then find a way to provide it for them regularly.