Oh the month of February….sweet month of love! Many have a “love-hate” relationship with it. Some love it and others love to hate it!
It is not ‘love’ people hate, but the lack of it or the false encounters in the name of “love!” Some have been brutally hurt emotionally (and, I suppose, physically) when ‘love has gone wrong.’ Not a few relationships have struggled for lack of true love. In truth, true love never depletes, despises or deprecates another person. Our world is full of the superficial and sham which covers or destroys what is authentic love.
One writer offers this description: Love as a journey is the ongoing discovery and receiving of God’s Love. It [the journey to love] leads us to places we did not know existed; places more beautiful than description, heights beyond our comprehension, and intimacy that transforms us into royalty. That is the inner revelation of love. The outer revolution of love desires to go into the darkest places and reveal its beautiful light; to enter into the death and chaos of humanity and bring life and purpose. It requires courage and faith because in this battle for love, your flesh must die. (LoveWorks, Weyman Howard, pg 1).
What a glorious opportunity leaders have to walk with people in the greatest leadership journey of all: the journey to love and it sums up the entire Law in Scripture: our relationship first with God and then with others. There are time when we have allowed love to be subservient to other leadership skills that are more pragmatic and more expedient. I am not dismissing the need for skills! I am saying that skills must be employed in the context of love, which is the entire goal of the Gospel. Love is the defining characteristic of the Kingdom of God.
In his book Lead with Love Gerald Czarnecki states:
We leaders need to have love at the heart of everything we do…At times that
love will be reflected in a sensitivity to an associate’s anxiety; at other times
it will require high standards and expectations to focus an associate on achievement;
at other times, it will mean reinforcing a successful action; and at other times, it will mean
disciplining a serious misstep. All of these efforts will require more than just a mechanical
effort. They require that extra measure of emotional sensitivity that is embodied in the
concept of agape. Only when you love your associates can you perform these responsibilities
with the sensitivity, compassion, and firmness required to assure successful goal achievement.
As our minds and hearts naturally attend to the idea of love this month, let us give ourselves to learning to be more loving in our leadership.