In Matthew 22:36-40 and Mark 12:28-34, Jesus was asked by one of the religious leaders, “Which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
With this statement, Jesus was saying that, above all else, love is most important and, that we should be determined to express, demonstrate, and direct our love toward God and others. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul states that no matter how eloquent we may be, no matter how great a gift we may possess, no matter how great the knowledge that we acquire and the understanding that we have, no matter how many mountains our faith can move, and no matter how much we give or how sacrificial our actions towards our loved ones, customers, or employees might be, if these acts are not done in love, they mean nothing.
Love is preeminent. Everything we do must personify love. Otherwise, all that we do is meaningless.
The question is, what is love, and how do you manifest it in your life and business?
Love is an unconditional demonstration of care and affection toward others that is shown through your actions and responses.
1 Corinthians 13 gives us a list of 15 expressions through which Love is characterized.
- Suffers long – Love is patient and willing to endure difficult moments with others
- Kind – Love genuinely expresses favor towards others
- Does not envy – Love does not resent the possessions, qualities, or advantages of others
- Does not parade itself – Love does not brag or show off
- Is not puffed up – Love does not exaggerate
- Is not rude – Love is not offensive toward others
- Does not seek its own – Love does not only look out for its own self-interest
- Is not provoked – Love is not easily irritated or angered
- Thinks no evil – Love does not think negatively of others
- Does not rejoice in iniquity – Love does not delight in immorality or injustice
- Rejoices in the truth – Love delights in honesty and in things that are factual, not perceptions and hearsay
- Bears all things – Love is supportive of others
- Believes all things – Love has confidence in others
- Hopes all things – Love expects good things of others
- Endures all things – Love is tolerant of others
How much do you love the Lord? How much do you love your spouse and other members of your family? How much do you love your employees and your customers? It can be easy to say that we love someone. But when that “love” is put to the test, we may discover that our statement was more of an emotional response than an internal and unconditional conviction and commitment of our care and affection towards them.
1 John 4:20-21 tells us that you cannot truly love God unless it is demonstrated by your love for others.
As difficult as it is to consistently love this way, it has incredible benefits:
- Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
- Love removes all fears. (1 John 4:18)
Imagine never having to worry about failed relationships in your marriage, friendships, and business. Imagine never facing fear ever again. What a wonderful (and scriptural) way to overcome the fear of failure: choose to love.
My prayer for you this week is that God will give you the grace to demonstrate the greatest gift in all your relationships, so that you may glorify Him in everything you do.