Some people will say that they will be able to lead or influence only a couple of people throughout their lifetime, and others are different because they influence or lead many people in their lifetimes. Whether we are able to lead many people or not, at some point in our life, one way or another, we will have people under us to lead and to influence. If it has not happened to you yet, then for sure in the future it will. One reason is that this is how God has designed mankind (And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:28). You will find yourself in charge of something, whatever that may be, and lead in that particular scenario. It also means that at least at one point in our lives, if not many times, we will have people under us. This will happen especially if you are in a corporate setting. One good example is a manager or a business owner who has people under him or her. As we have or will have people under us, the Bible gives us its view as to how we will lead the people placed under our care and how to treat them (seeing articles about humility in leading and servant leadership will help). In this article, we will tackle things in a more practical and contemporary manner.
The Bible says that we ought to treat them justly and fairly (Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Colossians 4:1). Treating people under us with justice and fairness covers a lot of things. One example is when we give them their wages (see the article about giving fair wages) but it could cover something like treating everyone equally and not favoring someone due to his or her race or other factor. In other words, show no partiality (And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. Ephesians 6:9). If you have also read the linked articles above, you will see that we treat people under us not by lording over them with authority but rather by serving them and counting them more important than ourselves (Mark 10:42-45) (Philippians 2:3-8). Just because they are lower than us in rank or we have seniority in position does not mean we are higher than they are, and it does not give us the right to look down on the people under us.
A rule of thumb that one could use is to treat people under us just as Jesus Christ treated us (And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32) (This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12). In fact, the New Testament has numerous verses that always show what we should be to others or how we should treat them, knowing what Jesus or God was like toward us and how He treated us. For example, if someone under us fails to do a certain task or commits a mistake, we can’t just unleash our frustration or rage right away; we ought to pardon them just as God pardoned us through Jesus. Also remember that as you are in Christ now, the old is gone and the new has already come (Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17). That also means death to your former self and living a new life as a new creation now in the likeness of God. We ought to build up others and make sure that they will continue to grow, not just spiritually but in things like career or talent, or whatever aspect that may be (see the related article here). We bring up the people under us and look forward to their success (Romans 12:10, Romans 15:1-2, 1 Thessalonians 5:11). If ever you feel the burden of leading others, there is no need to worry. The Holy Spirit is there to help you and to partner with you. King Solomon also encountered the same situation; he wanted to govern his kingdom well and asked God for wisdom. And do you know what? God does give wisdom. You can ask Him for wisdom that you may be able to lead well, and He likes those kinds of requests (If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5).