Do Everything In Love
When my heart started screaming at me to quit living a double life 3 years ago, I started down a journey without knowing where God was taking me or what was next as I started to become more outspoken about my faith, especially with my public image. At a women’s ministry event, a lady prayed over me and she said she could see God building my path as I was walking on it.
Trusting God is not always easy, but it’s worth it. It’s the only way I can live my life. In 2017, I started a little venture called No Life Apart. It didn’t take off or go anywhere… that’s what happens when you do things on your own time and not God’s time, even when he plants the dream inside of you! It was almost an Ishmael dream… it would have been if I had kept pursuing it. I let it go for a while… the dream came back in April 2020 when the madness of 2020 really started weighing on all of us.
Before I wrote this blog I asked God what message I should be sharing. I am passionate about sharing my own path and journey in hopes it will inspire you to stop hiding your Christianity and live an incredible life… one life… not your Christian self and your work self.
Well, God answered me.
I listened to a sermon yesterday that hit my core - shook the inside of me - and it felt like a lightbulb went off. Nothing earth-shattering in the message, though. It was basic. But I needed to hear it. And I want to share it with you.
Do everything in love. It’s actually that simple, yet it’s such a complex concept for humans. We love our loved ones. But we choose how we respond or react to others in our lives. Many people we (as humans) work with, co-workers, bosses, clients, partners, vendors, etc., aren’t loved by us. Yet we say are Christian.
God is love. If we love God, we love love. Yet, often we say we love God, but we are selective in our how or if we love other people - almost as if they need to earn it from us before we can treat them kindly and with grace. We live in a “what’s in it for me?” or “what have you done for me lately?” culture and many people wait to be loved or shown love first before they reciprocate.
Why not lead with love? God doesn’t pick and choose who He loves. He doesn’t change His mind. He doesn’t stop loving us for a day if we do something wrong. His love is eternal. He asks us to love each other. So why is it so hard for us to love each other and be kind? Because we have an agenda. Because we protect ourselves. Because it’s not easy to open up and be seen as weak or vulnerable. Because it’s incredibly hard to love someone or lead with love for someone who has hurt us or is known to be a “not-nice” person.
I get it. It’s not easy. But the outcomes are incredible. If God is love, then Jesus is love, and we are to be more like Jesus. Living in love and leading with love is one of the keys to utter peace and happiness. It’s a key to abundance. It’s a key to God’s blessings… it’s a key to our sanity.
Those who are hard to love are the ones who need it the most. Why are you withholding the greatest gift from them? Because it feels good to keep it all inside? Or you don’t think they deserve it? I promise you that if you love God first and then love others, He will replenish your supply.
3 years ago I called out my weaknesses. I analyzed what was holding me back from not just saying I was a Christian, but actually living a Christian life. If I was going to start down a path of encouraging others to live as a Christian out in the open, I needed to set the example. I had some work to do.
That’s probably why God kept me walking down the path for a while before allowing me to go public with my journey. And I’m not perfect, at all. I make mistakes. But my heart is fully committed to this journey.
I have outwardly said to people that I love our team members and our clients. As a CEO, I make the decision to set the tone for how people are treated at my company, internally and externally. We lead with love. We seek to understand. We keep an open mind. We are slow to anger. We do not get jealous. We protect each other, we trust each other, and we always hope for the best in each other.
This scripture so clearly states what love is and what it is not.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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.
But loving someone and leading with love is not always easy. We get triggered. Our emotions can take over. Nothing good comes from a negatively triggered emotional state.
It’s on us to catch the emotion before it sets us off. If you look for it, you can actually feel the warm tingles of fret setting in before it gets to a boiling point. If you are aware, you can catch it and address it and ask God to remove it before it sets you down a bad path of negative repercussions.
My hope for you today is that you will consciously lead with love in all things… for just one day. Be kind. Be gracious. Pause before you respond. Smile at everyone (yes, even under that mask!). Remove your agenda. Slow down a bit. Task yourself with writing down everyone you interact with today and how you showed them love. It’s the first step - just make yourself aware of your words and actions… once you see how simple it is, it becomes so infectious… and fun. Being kind and generous to people… truly loving them. Even strangers or those who you don’t think deserve it. Showing them love and grace today might be their first step in healing or changing their path.
You could bring the light to someone. What’s stopping you?