I Will Always Love You…
I Will Always Love You…
But some days I may not like you!
I love you! This all familiar phrase is probably used hundreds…maybe even thousands of times a day. I love….my dog, my cat, my kids, my significant other, selfies, chocolate, running, football, sweet tea, binge watching….and the list goes on. What exactly are we saying when we say we love something?
Recently, the opportunity to discuss love came up with my grandson. He had a bad day at school which, consequently, made its way home from school. When I requested that he get started on his homework, let’s just say his answer wasn’t, “Yes, Mimi, I’ll get right on that.” After several minutes of “discussion” he went to his room very upset. After the appropriate allowance of cool off time I went to have the lessons learned discussion. During the discussion, my grandson asked, “Why are you being so nice to me when I’m being a jerk to you?”
I could not have scripted it any better! Here was an opportunity to explain unconditional love to my 10-year-old grandson. I told him that I would always LOVE him. I may not always LIKE what he did but I would never stop LOVING him.
This is the same type of love that Jesus has for each one of us – unconditional. He may not LIKE what we do sometimes but He will never stop LOVING us.
When we think of love in the Bible, there are probably 2 scriptures that come to mind – John 3:16 and I Corinthians 13. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God loved us so much that He gave up His child so that we could have eternal life. He did this out of His unconditional for us. He knew we would misbehave, make unwise choices, and be a jerk sometimes. He doesn’t always LIKE what we do but He never stops LOVING us.
First Corinthians 13 is commonly deemed the Love Chapter and is often used in wedding ceremonies. Verses 4-8 say, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.” Love comes with a set of expected behaviors that can sometimes be hard to display. Especially when the person you are trying to love is not reflecting these behaviors.
Love is an integral part of leadership. We must have our heart in shape before we can lead effectively. In our new book, Lead Like Jesus Revisited, the authors describe what it’s like to lead with love. “As a Jesus-like leader, you acknowledge as you lead that God created every person, that He loves them as much as He loves you, and that He has great plans for their lives. As a leader, you need to pour yourself into your relationships with other people just as Jesus did with the disciples. Jesus loved them, served them, and thereby helped them develop into the people God called them to be. (Blanchard, Hodges, Hendry)”
On Valentine’s Day as we celebrate love, I challenge you to explore your heart and reflect on the characteristics of love. Take 1 or 2 of the characteristics and focus on being better at demonstrating them. Then, ask yourself, “Are you leading (with love) like Jesus?”
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